A new round of sales for SS Central America treasure may be nearing
A new round of sales for SS Central America treasure may be nearing By Paul Gilkes – CoinWorld
Thousands of artifacts including United States and pioneer gold coins, gold ingots, gold dust, and silver coins recovered in 2014 from the 1857 wreck of the SS Central America by Odyssey Marine Explorationwill likely come to the numismatic market if an Ohio judge approves the sale of the salvaged treasure.
A hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 30 before Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt in Columbus, Ohio, to consider a motion to approve the sale of $30 million in salvaged numismatic material to California Gold Marketing Group (CGMG) to begin satisfying the claims of creditors and investors.
CGMG marketed the more than $100 million in treasure recovered between 1986 and 1992 from the wreck site off the Carolina coast. The Central America sank during a hurricane on Sept. 12, 1857.
CGMG purchased the 92.4 percent of the gold coins, assay bars and ingots, gold dust and nuggets originally retrieved from the SS Central America and awarded by federal courts to the Columbus-America Discovery Group and the treasure salvor, Thomas G. Thompson. CGMG began offering select items to collectors on March 1, 2000. The remaining 7.6 percent of the treasure, awarded by the federal courts to the original insurers of the treasure or their successor companies, was offered for sale June 20 and 21, 2000, by Sotheby’s. The auction had been postponed from December 1999 while litigation issues were still being resolved.
On Feb. 3, 2015, a ruling from the Ohio Court of Appeals, 10th Judicial District, granted CGMG retention of rights to market any treasure recovered from the shipwreck, based on a contract CGMG originally signed in 1998 and updated in 1999 with the original treasure salvors, Columbus-America Discovery Group, headed by Tommy Thompson.
The original salvage operations were financed with more than $12 million received from more than 160 investors, including The Dispatch Publishing Co., which at the time published The Columbus Dispatchnewspaper in Ohio. (The Columbus Dispatch newspaper is now owned by Gatehouse Media.)