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    S. S. Central America Gold Ingot
    'Large Size' Ingot
    87.17 Ounces

    S.S. Central America Gold Ingot. 87.17 Ounces. CABG-409. The Kellogg & Humbert gold ingot offered in this lot represents the culmination of years of work by Tommy Thompson, Bob Evans, their team, and a host of other researchers and numismatists to locate and recover the three tons of gold that sank with the U.S. Mail ship Central America when it perished on the evening of September 12, 1857.

    It took years to pinpoint the final resting place of the Central America 7,200 feet below the sea, roughly 100 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, but the Columbus-America Discovery Group explorers finally found it on September 11, 1988. In all his preparation, Thompson had, according to Gary Kindler's Ship of Gold:

    "examined every possible scenario, and he had contingency plans for each, but with all the pressures of disgruntled partners, thruster problems, vehicle design, competitors, buying a ship, money dribbling in, wondering where the gold was on Galaxy [the field location], wondering if the gold was not on Galaxy but on a new site, he hadn't spent a great deal of time wondering what he would do if on the first dive they landed on top of cast-iron sidewheels the size of a farmhouse. He had to guard that information carefully. If this was the Central America, then somewhere on that site lay hundreds of millions of dollars in gold, and that much money made people think crazy thoughts and do crazy things ... ."

    According to legal filings by some of the original investors, Thompson failed to adequately distribute the profits among the investors, running off with millions of dollars. The authorities finally caught up with him in January 2015 after spending years on the lam, adding yet another element of interest to one of the most fascinating series of events in American numismatics.

    Classed as a Large Size ingot, this brick of nearly purely gold retains most of its character from when it was discovered at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean 30 years ago. Each of the six sides shows deep reddish-russet incrustation, remnants of the rusted iron hull of the ship that accrued to these ingots once the ship came to rest on the sea floor. The ingot measures 56 x 112 x 24 mm. The inscriptions are laid out vertically and all are on the top side: No 248 / K & H hallmark / 87.17 Oz / 923 FINE / $1663.21. As always, the serial number is repeated on the back side in a different font. This is an exceptionally attractive ingot with significant reddish color that alternates with bright gold. Usually of little significance, the assay corner chips are especially bright and clearly show the horizontal striations from clipping by the assayer.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    5th-8th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 600

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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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    Jim Beasley, Tilden Coin Company,
    Allamonte Springs, FL
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