1855-S GOLD $20 LIBERTY SSCA-2
PCGS MS62The San Francisco mint opened in 1854 to turn the vast amount of gold coming out of the hills in the Gold Rush country into U.S Coinage. In 1855, the second year of double eagle production at San Francisco mint, there was an exceptional mintage of 879,675 pieces, more than double the production at Philadelphia and New Orleans, combined for that year.
The 1855-S $20 Gold Liberty Double Eagle Type-I is a coin most often found in lower circulated grades, like Very Fine or Extremely Fine condition, with fewer in AU condition. This issue at one time was very rare in Mint State, until the shipwreck recovery of the SS Central America, where more than 300 of these coins were recovered from the 1857 shipwreck, with nearly 100 in mint state condition.
The SS Central America was a 280 foot side-wheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the U.S. at that time. On September 12, 1857, the Central America sunk in a hurricane two hundred miles off the Carolina Coast in 8,000 feet below the Atlantic, taking the lives of 425 men and over 4,700 pounds of California gold. The sinking of the SS Central America, known as ''The Ship of Gold'' was one of the worst peacetime tragedies of men, ship, and gold lost at sea. It contributed to the deepest depression of the 19th Century both economically and emotionally. Originally discovered in 1987 and brought to market in the year 2000, it has been one of the most remarkable events in numismatic history. In 2014, Odyssey Marine Exploration went back to recover the remaining gold. After 4 years, the ''Greatest Treasure Ever Found'' has come to market for a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of historical significance from the California Gold Rush, with the providence of the SS Central America Shipwreck Treasure Recovery.
1855 was an historic year in America. Poet Walt Whitman publishes Leaves of Grass on July 4, 1855. Florence Nightingale brought cleanliness to nursing with her work in the Crimean War. This played an important role in saving lives a decade later during the American Civil War. The famous newspaper, Frank Leslie's Illustrated, began publication. Michigan State University was established, and the Farmers' High School is founded, later becoming Penn State University. The first railroad train crosses the Mississippi River on the first bridge constructed at Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, while the first train crosses the 1st US railway suspension bridge at Niagara Falls. Also, the first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway. The 1855-S is a tangible piece of western history minted from California gold from the Wild West.