Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
- On 14/08/2012
- In Auction News
From Paul Fraser Collectibles
A Harris Marchand & Co gold ingot recovered from the wreckage of the SS Central America has sold with strong results, topping the Rarities Night at the 2012 ANA World's Fair of Money on August 9.
The ingot was described as an American numismatic treasure by the auction house, as a unique example weighing 174.04 ounces of extraordinarily fine gold.
Attributed to the Marysville, California office of Harris and Marchand (whose main office was in Sacramento), it sold for $891,250 as top lot in the sale.
It originates from the SS Central America, a sidewheel steamer wrecked during a hurricane off the southern part of Virginia in 1857.
The ship was carrying over $100m in coins and ingots from the California Gold Rush, which was only recovered in the 1980s and made available following an intense legal battle in 1996.
Of the 500 ingots recovered from the ship, the most valuable is an 80 pound example that sold for $8m in 2001 to become the world's most valuable piece of currency.