An updated S.S. Central America "Ship of Gold" exhibit will be on display at the June 2023 Long Beach Show. Here's the press release.
To mark the 35th anniversary of the
historic 1988 discovery of
the greatest treasure ever found, a $15 million Ship of Gold
sunken treasure exhibit will begin a nationwide educational tour with its first port-of-call
at the Long Beach Expo (www.LongBeachExpo.com) collectibles show in Long Beach,
California, June 22–24, 2023.
The display of recovered California Gold Rush treasures from the 1857 sinking of
the fabled S.S. Central America will feature gold coins, assayer's ingots, gold nuggets,
and gold dust. There will also be a bank treasure shipment box, items from the ship,
and recovered passengers' artifacts including 166-year-old Cuban cigars and the
world's most valuable jeans – gold prospector's heavy-duty work pants that sold at
auction for $114,000 this past December.
Many of the artifacts in the updated display have not previously been publicly
exhibited. But we also will have the return of the mammoth ‘Eureka Bar' which is
considered by many to be a priceless national treasure, said Adam Crum, president of
Finest Known (www.FinestKnown.com) in Torrance, California.
The centerpiece and highlight of the exhibit, the assayer's ingot nicknamed
Eureka is the single largest gold artifact in existence from the California Gold Rush and
the most famous and desirable artifact from what Life magazine called ‘The Greatest
Treasure Ever Found.' After its upcoming first public viewing in over 20 years, it will be
toured around the globe in a Treasures From The Deep exhibit, he said.
The Eureka Bar weighs 933.94 Troy ounces, a little over 64 pounds. The ingot's
value in 1857 was stamped by San Francisco assayers Kellogg & Humbert as
$17,433.57, but today it's insured for $10 million, explained Crum.
The Ship of Gold touring exhibit is being organized by Finest Known, Argos Gold
Group, and National Treasures I, LLC. The exhibit is housed in a 40-foot-long recreation
of the famous ship's hull.
The S.S. Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel
steamship carrying tons of California Gold Rush treasures from Panama to New York
City that sank in the Atlantic Ocean 150 miles off the North Carolina coast during a
hurricane on September 12, 1857. It was discovered about 7,200 feet below the ocean's
surface in 1988 by a scientific expedition using a six-ton remote-controlled submersible
vehicle, explained Bob Evans, the chief scientist and historian on the recovery
The tragedy of the S.S. Central America sinking took the lives of 425 of the
ship's 578 passengers and crewmembers, and the loss of the gold cargo was a major
factor in the economically devastating financial Panic of 1857 in the United States, said
Evans who will be at the Long Beach Expo to meet with visitors and answer questions
about the S.S. Central America.
The exhibit also includes a prospector's recovered saddle bag that contained
gold coins, nuggets and gold dust. Visitors can see the only known complete treasure
shipment box from the 1850s California Gold Rush period. An embossed wax seal on the box is still easily readable as
Alsop & Co., renowned merchants and gold treasure
shippers of the era.
The record-setting miner's pants in the display were discovered in the
submerged trunk of first-class passenger John Dement of Oregon, a merchant and
military veteran. The display will also have items found in the trunk of first-class San
royalty passengers, Ansel and Adeline Easton, who were on their
honeymoon trip to New York.
After the steamship was overwhelmed and crippled by a hurricane, the captain,
Commander William Lewis Herndon, ordered the lifeboats to be launched and the
women and children, including Adeline, evacuated to a ship passing nearby. Ansel
clung to debris in the water for hours after the ship sank until the crew from another
vessel rescued him. Captain Herndon went down with the ship, said Evans.
The Eastons were reunited eight days later when the rescue ships reached port
at Norfolk, Virginia.
It has been years since the Ship of Gold exhibit has been in public, and we are
delighted to present both returning and never-before displayed historic California Gold
Rush sunken treasure artifacts for people to see in person, stated Crum.
For additional information about treasure from the S.S. Central America, visit
The June 22-24, 2023 Long Beach Expo will be held in Hall C of the Long Beach
Convention Center at 300 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, California. For additional
Wayne Homren, Editor
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