California Gold Rush-era relics from the shipwreck of SS Central America were among the top sellers in Heritage’s January 29-February 3 Long Beach Signature Auction, held in conjunction with the Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo. Altogether, prices topped $11 million, with after-auction sales continuing through February 6. All prices realized include a 20% Buyer’s Premium.
Of the six top lots, five were gold ingots found in the shipwreck of SS Central America, highlighted by the Very Large Size 174.04 Oz. Harris, Marchand & Co. Gold Ingot. This is the sole ingot from the firm’s Marysville office recovered in the shipwreck, and it is distinctive enough to warrant a significant writeup in Q. David Bowers’ A California Gold Rush History. It sold for $528,000 USD. Additional ingots in this auction included:
- Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot. 97.19 Ounces. Sold for: $204,000
- Blake & Co. Gold Ingot. 19.30 Ounces. Sold for: $156,000
- Blake & Co. Small-Sized Gold Ingot. 14.31 Ounces. Sold for: $144,000
- Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot. 50.50 Ounces. Sold for: $121,333
A pair of Panama-Pacific 50 dollar gold commemoratives, each graded MS64, further represented the state of California in the highlights, both because they were minted in San Francisco, and because they commemorated the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held just a few miles from the place the coins were manufactured. The rarer Round piece brought a sale price of $114,000, while the iconic Octagonal coin sold for $81,000.
The top coin sold in this auction was the ever-popular 1879 Flowing Hair Stella, this one graded Proof-64 Deep Cameo by PCGS. This piece, while technically a pattern, has been enthusiastically collected as a regular issue since its manufacture, most likely due to its odd denomination. It exchanged hands for $210,000.
Additional highlights included:
- 1795 $5 Small Eagle MS61 PCGS. CAC. BD-3. Sold for: $84,000
- 1799 $10 Large Obverse Stars, BD-10, MS63 NGC. CAC. Sold for: $75,001
- 1901 $10 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC. Sold for: $75,000
- 1792 Washington Getz Pattern Cent, Small Eagle, Copper MS61 Brown PCGS Gold Shield. Sold for: $72,000
- 1864 G$1 MS69 NGC. Sold for: $72,000
- 1839 50C No Drapery PR62 NGC. Sold for: $54,000
- 1881 $20 AU55 PCGS Gold Shield. Sold for: $54,000
- 1937-D 5C Three-Legged, FS-901, MS66 PCGS Gold Shield. Sold for: $48,000
The next Signature auction of US coins will open for bidding soon at coins.HA.com.