1854-O Liberty Head Quarter Eagle $2.50 Gold Coin

  • This 1854 New Orleans Mint Liberty Head Quarter Eagle gold coin boasts several intriguing details
  • The obverse bears a rare counter stamp from a Gold Rush-era pharmacy in Sacramento
  • It was also recovered from the ill-fated S.S. Central America
  • The S.S. Central America famously shipwrecked in 1857, losing its extensive cargo of gold
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3348

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This 1854-O Liberty Head Quarter Eagle gold coin, graded XF 45, represents an important time in U.S. numismatics history, and it boasts a number of interesting details. It was recovered from the wreckage of the famed "Ship of Gold," the S.S. Central America. The side-wheel steamer was in continuous service transporting gold on the Atlantic leg of the Panama Route between New York and San Francisco, making 43 round trips between New York and Panama. In September of 1857, while carrying 10 short tons of gold from the California gold mines, she encountered a devastating storm off the coast of the Carolinas and tragically sunk along with all of her precious cargo. This is the only such specie recovered from the Central America. Additionally, it bears a rare counter stamp on its obverse from a Gold Rush-era pharmacy in Sacramento; it represents the first and only time the “counter-stamp” with details designation has been added to the certification of a coin.

When this coin was struck in 1854, the Gold Rush was in full force, and mints were producing coins rapidly to match the massive gold resources coming out of California. Gold quarter eagles were produced at five mints in 1854, including New Orleans, where the present example hails from, and it consists of the standard “coin gold” alloy for the time period of 90% gold and 10% copper. New Orleans produced a low mintage of only 153,000, making this coin quite rare in the first place and all the more rare considering its counter stamp, Gold Rush history and S.S. Central America pedigree.

Hand-signed by Chief Scientist Bob Evans on reverse of the holder; the authentication and holder also include gold dust recovered from the SS Central America.
1854-O Liberty Head Quarter Eagle $2.50 Gold Coin
Period: 19th Century
Origin: America
Type: Coins
1854-O Liberty Head Quarter Eagle $2.50 Gold Coin

Unique Counterstamped 1854 New Orleans Gold Coin Returns Home     Original article written for CoinWeek.   Historic sunken treasure finally back in The Big Easy after 167-year journey that included being s...

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