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Your Buried Treasure: Cuba Coinage & Sunken Shipwreck Coins

Accurate Precious Metals

July 18, 2023

Your Buried Treasure: Cuba Coinage & Sunken Shipwreck Coins

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Coins & Bullion, gold and silver bullion coins salem oregon, Gold Bullion, Gold Coins, Silver Bullion, Silver Coins

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Unearthing History: The Fascinating World of Shipwreck Coins from the SS Central America

Dive into the remarkable world of shipwreck coins, specifically those salvaged from the SS Central America, a notable maritime tragedy of the 19th century. As you embark on this historical journey, we’ll explore the significance of these sunken treasures, their journey from minting to sinking, and their value in today’s numismatic market. This article provides essential knowledge for collectors, historians, and anyone intrigued by the mystique of buried treasure. Discover how these coins, lost to the deep for over a century, have returned to tell the tale of their own historical voyage.

  • Learn about the unique journey of these treasure coins from their creation to their recovery from the depths of the ocean.
  • Understand the significance of the SS Central America shipwreck and its place in maritime history.
  • Discover the value and appeal of these sunken treasures in the numismatic market.

The Tragic Tale of the SS Central America

The SS Central America was a 280-foot-long sidewheel steamer, built in 1852 to carry mail and passengers between Central America and the east coast of the United States. On September 3, 1857, the ship set sail from Havana, Cuba, carrying about 578 passengers and crew. It was laden with treasure—gold coins, bars, and nuggets brought by prospectors returning from the California Gold Rush. Unfortunately, it ran into a severe hurricane off the Carolina coast and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. This catastrophic event, known as the “Ship of Gold” tragedy, resulted in the loss of 425 lives and an estimated 30,000 pounds worth of gold.

It wasn’t until 1988 that the shipwreck was discovered and salvaged by a group of adventurers led by Tommy Gregory Thompson. The salvors recovered a vast treasure trove, including over 7,000 gold coins, more than 500 gold bars, and a large quantity of gold dust and nuggets. The recovered gold was minted into commemorative coins, and the rest was sold to collectors and investors, creating a new market for shipwreck coins.

The Coinage of the SS Central America Shipwreck

The SS Central America shipwreck yielded a wealth of coins, primarily gold, minted in the United States and abroad. Among the most significant findings were U.S. $20 Double Eagles and $10 Eagles from the San Francisco Mint, dating from 1852 to 1857. These coins offer a tangible link to the California Gold Rush era and are highly sought after by numismatists for their historical significance and rarity.

Besides the American coins, the shipwreck also contained a significant number of foreign gold coins. These include pesos from Peru and Cuba, providing a glimpse into the international trade routes and commerce of the time. Many of these coins are well preserved, with their design details still visible, thanks to the cold, deep waters where they lay for over a century.

SS Central America Coins: A Numismatic Treasure

The coins recovered from the SS Central America shipwreck are highly prized in the numismatic market. Numismatists, or coin collectors, value these coins not only for their gold content but also for their historical significance, rarity, and the unique story they tell. The fact that these coins lay undisturbed on the ocean floor for over 130 years adds to their appeal.

Many of these coins have been graded and authenticated by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), a highly respected coin grading service. The NGC uses a numerical grading system, with 70 being the highest possible grade. Several SS Central America coins have received high grades, indicating their excellent state of preservation despite their underwater sojourn.

The Value and Appeal of Shipwreck Coins

The allure of shipwreck coins lies not only in their intrinsic value as precious metals or their historical significance. They also capture the imagination with tales of high adventure on the high seas, of tragedy and loss, and of rediscovery and recovery. These coins offer collectors the opportunity to own a piece of history, each coin holding a unique story of its journey from mint to sea floor and back again.

As with all rare coins, the value of shipwreck coins depends on factors such as rarity, condition, and demand in the numismatic market. Given their unique origin and historical significance, shipwreck coins typically command high prices in auctions and private sales. SS Central America coins, for instance, can fetch from a few thousand to over a million dollars, depending on the type and condition of the coin.

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How Can I Buy Shipwreck Coins?

If you’re interested in owning a piece of this fascinating history, Accurate Precious Metals is your trusted source. While we are based in Salem, Oregon, we cater to clients from all over through our mail-in service. Whether you’re looking to buy gold, silver, diamonds, or rare coins such as these shipwreck treasures, offers competitive prices and outstanding customer service.

When you buy from Accurate Precious Metals, you can trust that you are receiving authentic, high-quality items. All our coins are carefully inspected and authenticated to ensure their quality and value. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Don’t let this unique opportunity to own a piece of history sail away!

  • SS Central America shipwreck coins offer a tangible link to history, telling a tale of adventure, tragedy, and discovery.
  • The numismatic market highly values these coins for their gold content, historical significance, rarity, and the unique story they represent.
  • Accurate Precious Metals, based in Salem, Oregon, is a trusted source for buying these unique shipwreck coins.


Q: What is Cuba coinage?

A: Cuba coinage refers to the coins that were minted and used in Cuba.

Q: Are there any rare coins associated with Cuba?

A: Yes, there are rare coins associated with Cuba.

Q: What is the significance of the year 1715 in relation to the topic?

A: The year 1715 is significant because it marks the year of the sinking of the Spanish fleet, which carried a large amount of gold and silver coins.

Q: What is a peso?

A: A peso is a unit of currency that was used in Cuba.

Q: What are sunken shipwreck coins?

A: Sunken shipwreck coins are coins that were lost or deposited at the bottom of the sea due to shipwrecks.

Q: What are some common types of coins found in sunken shipwrecks?

A: Some common types of coins found in sunken shipwrecks include silver coins, gold coins, ancient coins, and US coins.

Q: Can you explain what a cob coin is?

A: A cob coin is a type of coin that was handcrafted and produced by hammering the metal into shape. They were commonly used in Spanish colonies, including Cuba.

Q: What is the significance of the SS Republic in relation to the topic?

A: The SS Republic is a shipwreck that was found off the east coast of the United States. It was carrying a large number of gold and silver coins, as well as other artifacts.

Q: How much are sunken shipwreck coins worth?

A: The value of sunken shipwreck coins can vary greatly depending on factors such as rarity, condition, and demand. Some coins can be worth thousands or even millions of dollars.

Q: What are some of the items recovered from sunken shipwrecks?

A: Some of the items that have been recovered from sunken shipwrecks include coins of various denominations, gold nuggets, jewelry, and other artifacts.

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Accurate Precious Metals is not a financial advisor. These articles are for educational purposes and must not be taken as fact; you must research laws and rules before making any financial decision and consult a professional financial advisor, attorney, or CPA.

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