Will Seippel | May 29, 2024

What do the Panic of 1857 and the upcoming June auction by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers have in common?

One of the auction’s lots features a Kellogg & Humbert-stamped gold bullion recovered from the fateful 1857 shipwreck of SS Central America, i.e., the “Ship of Gold.” This bar was one of the literal tons of gold items (sourced from the California Gold Rush) destined to supply mints on the East Coast with coinage the country desperately needed to circulate to avoid an economic bust. Instead, the ship sank, the gold was lost, and financial panic ensued. No one had seen these gold items for more than 130 years until deep-sea explorations began to recover them in 1988. And now, we get the chance to revisit history.

Learn more about this gold bar and why I believe it will surpass its $300,000 pre-auction estimate in this article I wrote on WorthPoint.

And, while you’re there, check out our inaugural edition of WorthPoint Indices—our proprietary market index sourced from the pricing data of antiques and collectibles, allowing one to see at a glance how prices have trended for certain categories. Our first report is on United States Coins, and we spotlighted index trends on graded coins, state quarters, Morgan dollars, Mercury dimes, and gold coins.

Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. An Inc. 500 Company, WorthPoint is used by individuals and organizations seeking credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.