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    Description

    Complete 24-Piece Date Set of Gem Proof
    "1855 Kellogg & Co. Fifty Dollar" SSCA Relic Medals

    1855 $50 SSCA Relic Gold Medal "1855 Kellogg & Co. Fifty" Gem Proof PCGS. A complete date run (August 20 to September 12) of the 2001 proof commemorative restrike 1855 Kellogg fifty dollar pieces. These pieces are relic medals, struck from gold obtained from various large Kellogg & Humbert ingots recovered from the S.S. Central America shipwreck.
    Perhaps the most fabled numismatic shipwreck, the S.S.C.A. was battered by a hurricane and, after days of frantic bailing, finally sank on September 12, 1857. The ship carried a treasure trove of gold coins (predominantly 1857-S double eagles) and gold ingots. The ingots were made by respected California private gold assayers and, in most cases, the only known gold ingots from those assayers came from the S.S. Central America.
    John Glover Kellogg was the cashier of Moffat & co. while that firm operated the U.S. Assay Office of Gold. Augustus Humbert was appointed assayer of the latter facility. Kellogg and Humbert later became partners in private assay firms. As Kellogg & Co., they struck the rare and famous proof 1855 fifty dollar round ingots, and as Kellogg & Humbert, they produced large gold ingots, a number of which went down with the S.S. Central America.
    In 1989, the shipwreck was successfully excavated by Tommy Thompson's Columbus-America Discovery Group. Lawsuits from insurers held up the bounty for an additional decade. When the gold ingots became available for sale, several went unsold, because few numismatists could afford to purchase them. The stamped faces of the remaining Kellogg & Humbert ingots were saved, and the rest of the ingots were refined into restrike proof 1855 fifty dollar pieces.
    A total of 4,461 proofs were struck over a period of 24 days. These were struck at the Presidio near San Francisco, from copy dies made from the original Kellogg & Co. fifty dollar dies, owned by Don Kagin. The 24 days corresponded to the 1857 journey of the S.S. Central America, from Panama to its Atlantic Ocean foundering. August 21 is the lowest mintage date, only 25 pieces. The penultimate date, Sept. 11, is also in demand since it coincided with the 9/11 tragedy.
    Only a few full date runs were sold, and it would be an arduous task assembling such a complete set. All 24 pieces presently offered are beautifully preserved and well struck with darkly mirrored fields that contrast with the frosted legends and devices.


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

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    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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