NCS Conserves Coins Recovered from the Steamship New York
Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) has been selected to conserve the coins recovered from the SS New York shipwreck. The coins comprise a diverse cross section of coins in circulation at the first part of the 19th Century, including an important group of exceptional quality southern mint gold coins. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has been chosen to certify the coins following their conservation.
The SS New York operated a light cargo and passenger service between New Orleans and Galveston including military and post office contract passage until it foundered during a hurricane on September 7, 1846. Seventeen of the 53 crew and passengers were lost, along with “thirty to forty thousand dollars in gold, silver, and bank notes,” according to contemporary reports. The ship was first discovered in 1990 by an amateur diver and Louisiana oilfield worker who relied on reports of snags from local shrimp fisherman to pinpoint the wreck. After completion of archeological survey conducted by the Minerals Management Service, and gaining legal title to the wreck, the original discoverers returned to recover the ship’s coins in 2006.
While primarily “treasure seekers,” they were also concerned about the historic value and preservation of the artifacts they salvaged. “We chose NCS to handle the post-recovery process because of their unique capabilities and expertise in working with shipwreck coins. Their process maintains the historical pedigree that was important to us and also renders the most beautiful artifacts,” comments Craig DeRouen of the recovery operation. NCS also conserved all coins recovered from the historic shipwreck SS Republic.
“Together NCS and NGC offer the only professional services to conserve shipwreck coins and then certify them, preserving the integrity and history of these coins. The coins from the SS New York demonstrate this with their wonderful quality and rich diversity, both markers of their considerable importance,” relates NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg, who oversaw the certification of the coins from the SS New York.
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