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All Posts Tagged With: "Monaco Rare Coins"

SS Central America Shipwreck “Ship of Gold” Exhibit Comes to ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston

Exhibit Includes Treasures from 1857 SS Central America Shipwreck

The incredible “Ship of Gold” exhibit, showcasing California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America, will make port in Boston at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money, August 10-14 at the Hynes Convention Center. The exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, Calif.

The SS Central America was recovered in 1988 from nearly 8,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship sank in a hurricane in September 1857 while carrying California gold from Panama to New York City.

“There will be examples of historic assayers’ ingots as well as San Francisco Mint and California territorial gold coins with a combined value of over $10 million,” said Adam Crum, vice president of Monaco. “One of the highlights is a huge Kellogg & Humbert ingot. Weighing just over 55 troy pounds, it is the largest surviving gold ingot of the California Gold Rush.”

The exhibit also includes one of the 13 recovered octagonal $50 gold pieces produced by the United States Assay Office of San Francisco, and the remains of a wooden cargo box that still contains approximately 110 Double Eagles as they were found on the ocean floor. Many appear to be 1857-S $20 gold pieces, apparently freshly struck at the San Francisco Mint when they were placed in the container for shipping.

Visitors will see the front pages of three 1857 newspapers that published stories about the shipwreck, the ordeal of survivors and the devastating economic effects created by the loss of the gold. Robert Evans, the chief scientist on the 1980s mission by the Columbus-America Discovery Group that located and recovered the magnificent sunken treasure, will be in Boston to meet visitors and discuss the SS Central America, her cargo, crew and passengers.

The Ship of Gold display was first publicly presented in February 2000. Over the years it has been seen by more than one million people in exhibitions at several venues and cities across the country.

[iframe http://www.coinlink.com/Video/032310_ship.html 544px 395px]

[Adam Crum of Monaco Rare Coins Gives a  Tour of the Exhibit – Originally Filmed on Long Beach
Video Courtesy of CoinTelevision.com]

The ANA World’s Fair of Money is the nation’s premiere money show. Show hours are 1-5:30 p.m. August 10, and 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. August 11-14. Dealer set-up is from 8 a.m.-
1 p.m. Tuesday, August 10. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for ANA members and children 12 and under. For more information on all of the show highlights, call 719-482-9857 or visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com.

14 Fundamental Reasons Why You Should Be Investing Your Money . . . In Money

Concentrate on popular‚ rare‚ historically significant quality coins as part of an overall investment plan in good times and bad…and history suggests that the rewards are great. There are numerous reasons why the demand for rare coins is growing among collectors and investors alike. Here are fourteen of the most fundamental:

Fundamental Reason #1: Diversification

Investment professionals recommend ten to twenty percent (and sometimes higher) of an investment portfolio be devoted to tangible assets in order to maintain diversification‚ reduce overall risk and create a hedge against inflation. Rare coin investing‚ and owning hard assets‚ should be one of the foundational elements of any portfolio.

Fundamental Reason #2: Stability

There is little history of dramatic sudden price shifts with truly rare and popular rare coins. This is partially due to the huge collector base…an estimated 35‚000‚000 and new ones entering the market all the time…who create a steady‚ consistent demand for the coin market. And‚ since a collector/investor takes physical possession of his or her coins‚ there are none of the destabilizing forces that exist in other markets.

Fundamental Reason #3: Rarity

It is estimated that only 2% of all the rare U.S. coins ever minted still exist. This existing supply is consistently being reduced as collectors/investors buy more‚ hold them longer and take them off the market. By the year 2015‚ experts believe that there will be some 100‚000‚000 coin collectors/investors worldwide‚ or nearly three times the number that exist today. Since there will be no more new coins available for these new collectors/investors‚ prices should continue to rise to meet the increased demand—a basic supply/demand fundamental.

Fundamental Reason #4: History

Since coins have commemorated heroes‚ great achievements and significant events throughout history‚ a collector/investor is essentially purchasing a piece of history AND a piece of art. (more…)

A Western Assayer of the Mark Twain Period – The Wiegand Silver Ingots

by Fred N. Holabird with permission from Monaco Rare Coins

Introduction

Conrad Wiegand was a boisterous man who was born in Philadelphia, worked for the US Mint, and came to the California Gold Rush in the early 1850’s. He went to work for the US Branch Mint in San Francisco at or near its inception in 1854.

Wiegand was small in stature, but big in ideas, and even stronger still in his opinions. He was a devoutly religious person who saw such injustice in the world that he undertook the publishing of his own newspaper—two of them, in fact. His other passion was the metals question, particularly his political stance generally held by most miners that money should be in the form of circulating hard specie—gold and silver coinage and ingots. Wiegand’s outspoken nature repeatedly got him into trouble, especially during his life on the Comstock. He was severely physically assaulted and beaten twice, which endeared him to the likes of Sam Clemens. As he advanced in age, his mental troubles worsened. Ultimately, his life ended in a hangman’s noose at the age of fifty in Virginia City.

A number of his precious metal ingots exist today as testimony of his work as a mainstream western assayer. These include nearly every phase of gold, silver and copper bullion in which Wiegand worked, as well as examples of items used to promote monetary specie.

Background

Conrad Wiegand shared with friends in Virginia City that he was born in Philadelphia in March, 1830. His father was John Wiegand, a one-time banker and later surgical instrument manufacturer. His brothers included a pharmacist (Thomas) and an inventor (George). The family lived in Philadelphia. Conrad, however, soon disappeared from the written historical record of Philadelphia and all American census data.

In an interview later in life, Wiegand said that he “entered the assay department of the Philadelphia Mint on $1 a day for wages.” Wiegand apparently trained for several years at the Philadelphia Mint, and mention was made that he worked in New York as well, probably for a private assaying firm.

Wiegand Appointed Assayer, Branch Mint, San Francisco, 1854

In 1854 he was appointed by President Pierce to the Branch Mint at San Francisco as Assayer. By his own admission, he returned to the east coast shortly after to run the New York New Boys Club, then left that job to study for the ministry. Unsuccessful with the Boys Club, he worked for a stint at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. President Abraham Lincoln subsequently appointed him as assayer to the Branch Mint in San Francisco once again. Working again in San Francisco, he soon published an opinionated pamphlet promoting the use of gold and silver as circulating specie.

As one of the original presidential appointees of President Pierce for the US Branch Mint at San Francisco when it opened in 1854, Wiegand held special status. Information on this early period is scant. By 1855 he held the position with the Branch Mint as Assayer, though this may be near the time that he returned to New York for a short while. While working there, his naturally boisterous and vociferous nature came to the forefront almost immediately, particularly when the Vigilance Committee was formed and action later taken. Wiegand gave a public speech, reported October 12, 1856 on the moral aspects of the Casey matter. He also published at least one article under the pseudonym William Carroll. (more…)