Shipwreck Certified Gold Posted by James Randolph on January 27, 2010
Not all certified gold coins are ones that spent years in circulation. Some spent a century or more at the bottom of ocean. Gold coins, being resistant to corrosion, survive pretty well if they don’t get scratched up during salvage operations.
The news just reported the recovery of a gold coin from a Turkish warship that sunk off Japan 120 years ago. The coin is from the glory days of the British Empire. It is an 1856 £1 gold piece and measures 2.2 centimeters in diameter, just under an inch.
The wreck was discovered in 2008 and the recovery effort has brought some 5,800 items to the surface. The archeologist in charge says he expects to find more gold coins as divers continue their search.
In 2003 American gold coins worth over $100 million at the time were brought to the surface from the wreck of the US Republic off the coast of Georgia where she had gone down in a storm in 1865. The US Republic was carrying gold and silver coins to New Orleans as part of the US government’s reconstruction efforts at the end of the Civil War. The boat carried 30,000 gold pieces of which a large number were recovered.
One of the tasks for the salvage crew was to get the coins off the bottom where they were mixed with sand, into containers, and bring them to the surface with minimum damage. Many of the coins being sent were brand new and in excellent condition. With much practice the salvage crew was able to use their deep sea robots to bring back gold and silver coins with minimum damage. Many of these are now certified gold coins for sale both for investment and as collector’s items.
Numismatics and rare coin investors look for opportunities like this to get extremely rare coins in excellent condition. With both NGC and PCGS certifying coins like this, it is very possible that an auction someday soon will feature this 1856 £1 gold piece as a certified gold coin hoping to bring a large bounty from deep within the sea.
Senior Staff Writer – Certified Gold Exchange