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Young Techies Recover the Greatest Treasure Ever Discovered:

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Young Techies Discover the Greatest Gold Treasure Discovered… See Recovery Video Here

Finest-Known_Monetary-Ingots-Cover

Early California Was a “Gold Dust” Economy

On December 5, 1848, in his annual message to Congress, President James Knox Polk stated that gold had been found in California, and in large quantities. Specimens were sent to the Philadelphia Mint for analysis, where the assayers found the metal to be of unbelievable quality. The Gold Rush was on!

Immigrants coming to California by land or sea brought pans, shovels, containers for gold,  contraptions for processing gold, etc., but few thought to bring much in the way of money. Thus, by the summer of 1849 there were tens of thousands of newcomers in California, but not enough coins to go around. Trade was conducted in gold dust, such as a “pinch” as payment for a saloon libation. Thus the cliché, ”A little pinch’ll do.” Early California was a “gold dust” economy.

Obviously, dust was not a preferred form of money. It is difficult to count dust and also impossible to accurately measure value because of the varying purity of the raw gold. Historians’ estimate that during those times, gold in dust form would bring half as much as if it were in the form of coin that was issued by the United States Mint.

Private Mints & Assayers

Paper money was not used in the West and certainly not accepted in foreign exchange. Gold coins and bullion bars were money. The shortage of coins continued throughout the mid-I850s. Private minters and assayers, including Kellogg & Company, Moffat & Company and ED. Kohler, fulfilled the need for the manufacturing of money, transforming the raw gold ore, dust and nuggets into rectangular gold ingots or coins. Much like a bank, the reputation of the coin or ingot’s maker was a guarantee of value. To be successful, an assayer had to have a completely unblemished reputation, his word to be, literally, “as good as gold.”

Assaying was a very difficult process, and because of this, relatively few firms entered the business. Not only was a high degree of scientific expertise needed, but facilities were required for the melting and processing of gold not to speak of the storage of incoming gold as well as for ingots and coins prepared for customers.

Finest-Known_Private-Mints&Assayers

As gold poured forth from the rivers, streams and hills of California, it made its way to assayers in San Francisco, Sacramento and Marysville… from there to distant points, most notably New York City and London. While coins were needed for the rapidly expanding western economy, both small and large monetary ingots, which were stamped with the U.S. Dollar value, were used to settle large domestic transactions and for international exchange.

Finest-Known_SSCA-Ingots

Assayer Transaction

The California gold rush phenomenon warranted an efficient means for miners to convert their hard-earned raw gold into a form that was readily accepted. This necessity caused the advent of the private monetary ingots. Assayer ingots soon became the standard method to deal with the massive flow of new California gold.
First, a gold miner would stockpile a cache of raw gold dust and nuggets. Then, based on word–of-mouth reputation, location and fees, the miner would select one of the competing assaying offices. The miner would deposit his bag of gold and get a written receipt with the assayers’ inventory identification number and a gross weight. It was customary for the miners to return within 24 hours to pick up their refined gold.

The assayer would melt the raw gold and refine-out impurities and base metals such as iron. What remained was gold and silver. Gold ingots of this form arc called “unparted” gold ingots. The molten gold was poured into a mold of a size that corresponded to that miner’s lot size. After the bar cooled, the assayer would clip off two opposite corners of the bar to retain as his fee and also to use for the assaying process. Once assayed to determine the purity of gold, the precise weight and fineness (represented in thousandths) were stamped on the bar along with its unique I.D. serial number, which matched the miner’s receipt. Also, the assayer would stamp the exact U.S. Dollar value. This transformed bullion into a medium of exchange, which was easily accepted for large transaction domestically and internationally making it real money and numismatically important.

Historical Treasure

In a democracy like the United States, there is no king, pharaoh, or czar, and hence no crowns, royal jewels, or pharaohs’ tombs. Accumulated treasures that do exist in America are either public or private, including great collections of art or other important cultural relics. On rare occasions, a significant treasure may be accumulated accidentally, the result of a profound act of nature.

The sinking of the SS Central America created just such an accidental accumulation of treasure. Bound for New York with tons of gold ingots, coins, nuggets, and dust mined from the California gold fields, its loss created a unique time capsule of information and artifacts of an era in which the very character and spirit of America blossomed.

Finest-Known_SSCA-Treasure

While many historical objects, accessories, ship components and other items recovered from the SS Central America are being preserved for study by institutions and others, there were enough gold ingots and coins that this became a historic national treasure that could be shared.
Thus, monetary ingots and coins of a quality and type that had rarely been seen before, and would have been unavailable generally at any cost, are being offered to an enthusiastic worldwide audience of museums, historians, and collectors. Special presentations of selected examples have been made to the American Numismatic Association, the California Historical Society, and other museums.

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Deep Blue Sea Pedigreed

“The Greatest Treasure Ever Found” is what LIFE Magazine, March 1992, named the fantastic bounty of perfectly preserved early California gold numismatic relics. For 131 years, these historic treasures were lost in the frigid, lightless depths of the Atlantic, encapsulated (and perfectly preserved) in the wreck of a once elegant 19th century US Mail Steamship, the SS Central America. Using advanced scientific methodologies and inventions, the Columbus-America Discovery Group recovered the gold treasure trove, so massive that its loss in 1857 triggered a series of bank failures, referred to as “The Panic of ’57.”

The disaster is the greatest peacetime loss at sea in American history. The account of the bizarre story is so astonishing that The History Channel airs a documentary on the subject regularly. Other programs have run frequently including the Discovery Channel, Dateline and Morning Magazine, along with many newspaper and magazine accounts. Because the SS Central America’s rare treasures of the California Gold Rush symbolize classic Americana, and this true monetary gold was so well preserved in the state and place it was since 1857, collectors and investors are seizing the opportunity to acquire these rare and unique numismatic treasures.

What makes these gold rush artifacts superior numismatically and historically is that we know exactly where and how they have been preserved since 1857. More astonishing, they are the only important numismatic items where we actually have movie footage (thanks to the revolutionary underwater robot, NEMO) of the place in which they were stored almost 150 years ago.
Just as the name “Titanic” fosters emotion, the “Ship of Gold” will truly live on because of the fantastic historical retrospection. Keep in mind that Warner Brothers purchased the movie rights to the New York Times best seller Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea.

Rare Opportunity

What is astonishing is that these monetary ingots are of a size previously not known to exist and far exceeding anything held in private hands or even in the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian has a representative display of American monetary ingots but of significantly smaller size and missing samples of several of the period’s famous assayers. Because these items have been so perfectly preserved and now give us evidence of how the early California economy worked, these items are being used to write history. Each treasure piece is worthy of a place in a museum.
Rarely would a private individual have the opportunity and financial means to acquire an object that is actually more historically important and measurably more impressive than anything held in possibly the greatest museum in the free world. In comparison, noteworthy paintings and precious artifacts are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Consider that there was just one ingot recovered for every ten 1857-S coins. Not only that, each ingot is totally unique. Considering that the ingots are substantially rarer than the ’57-S coins and so intensely desirable, it is astonishing that one can acquire an ingot that is 50 times larger for just 8 times the value.
Finest Known is a primary authorized dealer with the widest selection of the most precious items of the SS Central America treasure, these unique gold monetary ingots. Unfortunately, there are precious few of these rare specimens available. A premier collection of four specimens comprising the second largest examples of four assayers is called the “Golden Gate Collection” and is offered at $3,000,000 (please call for availability and details). If you’ve been intrigued by the story of the SS Central America and her discovery and excavation, call 888-900-9948 for more details and how to acquire a piece of this fantastic treasure.

Adam Crum - President

Adam-Crum

Why Now?

…Because these special treasure pieces are unique, priceless, and symbolic of the historic cultures that created them. Most importantly, they are attainable… for now.
More than just a collection of precious metals, they represent the heart and soul of a nation created in a turbulent time when our country came of age. Accumulated treasures that do exist in America are either public or private, such as great collections of art or other important cultural relics. However, these tend to lack either the intrinsic monetary value or the national symbolism of traditional historic national treasures. On rare occasions, a significant historic treasure may be accumulated accidentally, the result of an act of nature, an act of God, or a twist of fate. The sinking and recovery of the SS Central America is just such a rare occasion. It offers you the opportunity to hold a piece of historic treasure in your private collection from the “Greatest Treasure Ever Found.”

The Importance of Assayers

Evaluating raw gold and determining its fineness (percentage of purity, expressed in thousandths, such as 930 fine), weight, and other characteristics involved considerable expertise, expensive equipment, security arrangements, and other considerations. Further, the changing of the raw gold into “convenient shapes,” i.e., coins or bars, had to be done by an individual or company whose integrity was such that the imprint on the gold ingots would be accepted without question in New York or London. Any assayer who proposed to set up a business would be subject to close scrutiny and criticism for the slightest mistake.
The assayers on the following tabs below were well known during the California gold rush days. Until the recovery of the S.S. Central America treasure, very few assayer bars remain from the mid 1800’s. Each of the assayer bars listed would be welcomed in any museum, but are now available to individual collectors. Contact Finest Known today to determine the availability of the ingots listed on the following tabs.

SSCA Ingot Recovery Inventory

Blake & Co.

Gorham Blake arrived in San Francisco on May 22, 1852, and gained employment as an express agent for Adams & Co., and later as a buyer of raw gold for Wells, Fargo & Co. In October 1853, he became an assayer. In late 1855, the partnership of Blake & Agrell, refiners and assayers, was established in Sacramento. As a part or Blake & Agrell, Gorham Blake assayed between 19,000 and 20,000 ounces of gold in six weeks, and became known for his assurances to pay the difference between the his own assays and those of the San Francisco Mint.
On December 28, 1855, 26 year old Gorham Blake, now an experienced assayer, founded Blake & Co. His reputation and previous success helped him establish his new enterprise, and by the end of 1856, Blake & Co. had assayed 200,000 ounces of gold and had become one of the primary assayers in that district of California.
Price: Begins at $250,000 (Subject to availability)
Blake & Co. Gold Ingots Recovered from the S.S. Central America
Serial#      Wt.                    Fineness      1857 Value
5190          4.95 Oz.            795                $81.34
5217          5.80 Oz.            851                $102.03
5221          7.16 Oz.            791                $117.07
5220          7.16 Oz.            835                $123.58
5219          8.25 Oz.            860                $146.66
5280          9.56 Oz.            817                $161.45
5189          11.04 Oz.         860                $196.26
5228          12.09 Oz.         867                $216.68
5225          13.35 Oz.         791                $218.28
5216          14.07 Oz.         915                $266.12
5229          14.31 Oz.         604                $178.67
5213          16.75 Oz.         722                $249.99
5223          16.78 Oz          935                $306.93
5186          17.13 Oz.         847                $299.92
5226          17.78 Oz.         951                $349.53
5211          18.95 Oz.         917                $359.21
5195          19.15 Oz.         892                $353.11
5215          19.19 Oz.         866                $343.53
5196          19.30 Oz.         746                $297.62
5222          21.46 Oz.         580                $257.29
5191          23.06 Oz.         752                $358.47
5187          29.72 Oz.         842                $517.29
5192          30.32 Oz.         665                $416.80
5232          30.41 Oz.         817                $513.59
5197          32.08 Oz.         816                $541.13
5185          33.10 Oz.         586                $400.94
2531          37.74 Oz.         819                $638.94
5198          42.19 Oz.         817                $712.54
5224          54.67 Oz.         798                $901.83
5183          63.77 Oz.         875                $1,153.46
5194          64.19 Oz.         805                $1,068.17
5212          96.62 Oz.         899                $1,795.58
5214          103.50 Oz.       914                $1,955.53
5233          157.40 Oz.       816                $2,655.05

Harris, Marchand & Co.

The firm of Harris, Marchand & Company was established on October 3, 1855, and was located on 107 J Street in Sacramento, California. On October 4, 1855, the Sacramento Union announced: “An assay office, the likes of which in this city has long been a source of delay and expense to our citizens-has been established by Harris, Marchand & Co., on J Street, between 4th and 5th Streets. We visited their establishment yesterday-the first of active operations-and were shown specimens of their labor, ingots Nos. 1 and 2.” On January 1, 1856, the Sacramento Union commented on the success of the firm: “…they have 381 deposits, representing 16,899 1/2 ounces. The lowest pay per ounce was $12.65, the highest $20.11.”
The firm opened another office in Marysville, California on January 9, 1856. Their office was located on E Street, and the principles were listed as H. Harris, melter and refiner; D. Marchand, assayer; and I.M. Merrill, treasurer and business agent. By December 31, 1856, the firm had assayed 72,105 ounces of gold.
Price: Begins at $175,000 (Subject to availability)
Harris, Marchand & Co. Ingots Recovered from the S.S. Central America
Serial#      Wt.                    Fineness      1857 Value
6522          9.87 Oz.            777                $158.53
6472          10.07 Oz.         847                $176.31
6506          11.22 Oz.         763                $177.43
6490          11.43 Oz.         897                $211.94
6512          11.53 Oz.         835                $199.01
6486          12.64 Oz.         950                $245.00
6488          13.52 Oz.         807                $225.54
6528          13.78 Oz.         914                $260.35
6466          17.02 Oz.         813                $286.04
6508          17.48 Oz.         885                $319.78
6456          17.57 Oz.         847                $307.63
6510          18.41 Oz.         712                $270.96
6474          19.20 Oz.         727                $288.54
6278          19.60 Oz.         742                $300.63
6460          21.93 Oz.         721                $326.85
6524          22.52 Oz.         878                $408.73
6496          22.66 Oz.         845                $395.81
6478          22.85 Oz.         829                $391.58
6470          22.92 Oz.         917                $434.37
6446          23.35 Oz.         897                $432.96
6502          32.45 Oz.         907                $608.41
6480          32.54 Oz.         917                $616.83
6492          32.72 Oz.         900                $608.74
6514          35.33 Oz.         807                $589.38
6484          43.95 Oz.         932                $846.35
6468          51.00 Oz.         880                $927.75
6526          55.05 Oz.         875                $995.73
6520          55.48 Oz.         928                $1,064.30
6476          56.65 Oz.         856                $1,002.42
6462          65.15 Oz.         876                $1,179.76
6494          77.95 Oz.         878                $1,414.78
6516          112.10 Oz.       878                $2,034.60
6518          129.30 Oz.       884                $2,362.81
6500          149.35 Oz.       890                $2,747.72
7095          174.04 Oz.       942                $3,389.06
6504          195.70 Oz.       945                $3,822.97
6458          295.20 Oz.       877                $5,351.73
*6538       14.52 Oz.         682                 $204.70
*6536        14.70 Oz.         731                 $222.13
*6542        25.18 Oz.         893                 $470.02
*2014 Recovery
Please note that all of the gold assayer ingots from the original treasure have now been sold to primary buyers. However, Finest Known continues to maintain an active secondary market in these rarities and makes them available to collectors and investors as these items become available. If you have assayer ingots or other treasure items recovered from the S.S. Central America and may be interested in selling them, please contact Finest Known… we want to make you an offer!

Assay Office of Henry Hentsch

In 1856, 21 year old Henry Hentsch set up banking office in San Francisco. In its February 2, 1856 edition, the Alta California announced, “ASSAY OFFICE OF HENRY HENTSCH. Northwest corner of Montgomery and Jackson Streets. I have this day annexed to my Banking Establishment an Assay Office, and am prepared to carry on this business in all its branches. All orders confided to my care will be executed with promptness, and I will guarantee my assays. H. Hentsch. San Francisco.”
Hentsch listed sundry international references that included prominent banking firms such as Morris, Prevost & Co., London; Melly, Romilly & Co., Liverpool; Mathieu Hentsch & Co., Paris; and Hentsch & Co., Geneva, Switzerland. At the time, European banks were major destinations for California gold ingots and bars, and these international endorsements no doubt attracted depositors with such customers in mind. The Hentsch bars that were part of the S.S. Central America shipment were most likely bound for the Hentsch family banks in London, Paris, or Geneva. Although most of the ingots never made it to their final destination, amazingly one did. Benedict Hentsch participated in the Christie’s S.S. Central America Auction in December 2000 and acquired a Hentsch ingot for display in the Darier Hentsch Banks in Geneva, which have been in business since 1796.
Price: Begins at $250,000 (Subject to availability)
Henry Hentsch Gold Ingots Recovered from the S.S. Central America
Serial#      Wt.                    Fineness      1857 Value
3068          12.52 Oz.         973                $251.82
3229          22.60 Oz.         862                $402.71
3160          22.88 Oz.         854                $403.91
3130          26.96 Oz.         890                $496.00
3228          28.27 Oz.         874                $510.75
3227          31.72 Oz.         911                $597.35
3129          33.93 Oz.         875                $613.72
3230          38.45 Oz.         846                $672.42
3067          43.50 Oz.         850                $790.25
3212          45.00 Oz.         914                $850.28
3072          51.19 Oz.         849                $898.40
3119          57.53 Oz.         865                $1,029.59
3112          59.75 Oz.         878                $1,084.45
3120          61.93 Oz.         886                $1,134.26
3220          63.30 Oz.         873                $1,142.34
3215          64.28 Oz.         889                $1,181.29
3124          66.78 Oz.         880                $1,214.80
3095          67.91 Oz.         891                $1,250.80
3211          70.00 Oz.         843                N/A
3161          71.88 Oz.         912                $1,355.13
3099          72.12 Oz.         898                $1,338.78
3113          83.54 Oz.         849                $1,466.16
3114          93.15 Oz.         831                $1,600.15
3214          110.00 Oz.       904                $1,931.71
3144          118.17 Oz.       812                $1,983.54
3115          118.19 Oz.       863                $2,108.48
3218          145.20 Oz.       886                $2,659.36
3125          154.23 Oz.       893                $2,847.07
3066          172.60 Oz.       900                $3,211.15
3213          176.25 Oz.       894                $3,257.20
3219          181.70 Oz.       912                $3,425.53
3244          218.68 Oz.       891                $4,027.77
3123          238.84 Oz.       903                $4,458.35
*3246         24.17                938                 $468.66
*3127         58.56                920                 $1,113.69
*3128         88.15                815                 $1,485.10
*3225         119.45              873                 $2,155.65
*3243         319.22              892                 $5,886.19
*2014 Recovery
Please note that all of the gold assayer ingots from the original treasure have now been sold to primary buyers. However, Finest Known continues to maintain an active secondary market in these rarities and makes them available to collectors and investors as these items become available. If you have assayer ingots or other treasure items recovered from the S.S. Central America and may be interested in selling them, please contact Finest Known… we want to make you an offer!

Justh & Hunter

Emanuel Justh, a lithographer by trade, started work in 1854 with the newly formed San Francisco Mint. In May 1855, five days after leaving the Mint, Justh and his partner Solomon Hunter formed an assaying partnership on Montgomery Street in San Francisco. The business was announced in the May 15, 1855 edition of the Alta California with a letter of recommendation from San Francisco Mint Superintendent Louis Birdsall and U.S. Assayer Agoston Haraszthy. Birdsall and Harazthy cited Justh as a “competent and faithful assayer;” although prior to his year’s experience at the Mint, Justh had never had any metalwork or chemistry on his resume.
The Justh & Hunter enterprise was very successful; the partners assayed millions of dollars worth of gold in just over two years, and opened a Marysville office in May 1856. Justh & Hunter took on another partner in 1857, but the new partnership didn’t work out and the two men reformed their partnership on August 15, 1857. Justh & Hunter attracted business by paying out freshly minted San Francisco double eagles, no doubt acquired through Justh’s former associates at the Mint.
There were two distinct groups of Justh & Hunter bars aboard the S.S. Central America; those with serial numbers in the 4000 range and those in the 9000 range. The possibility that one set of serial numbers represents the first Justh & Hunter partnership and the second set of serial numbers represents the second partnership is speculated but not confirmed. Little known among numismatists until the discovery of the S.S. Central America treasure, Justh & Hunter was obviously a well-respected and well-connected enterprise despite their comparative lack of experience. It is interesting to note that four of the five largest bars discovered on board the S.S. Central America were assayed by Justh & Hunter, which is a tribute to their reputation among major depositors.
Price: Begins at $100,000 (Subject to availability)
Justh & Hunter Gold Ingots Recovered from the S.S. Central America
Serial#      Wt.                     Fineness      1857 Value
4216          5.24 Oz.            851                $92.18
4270          5.56 Oz.            854                $98.15
4208          5.76 Oz.            860                $102.40
4285          7.67 Oz.            797                $126.36
4267          15.31 Oz.         876                $277.21
4251          16.83 Oz.         864                $300.59
4346          18.60 Oz.         893                $343.35
9522          19.34 Oz.         891                $356.21
4351          19.87 Oz.         889                $365.15
4242          20.35 Oz.         892                $375.20
4280          20.93 Oz.         907                $392.42
4268          22.28 Oz.         871                $401.16
4343          22.83 Oz.         883                $416.72
4341          23.00 Oz.         890                $423.15
9523          24.63 Oz.         893                $454.66
4288          25.55 Oz.         926                $489.08
9524          26.02 Oz.         884                $475.48
4259          27.63 Oz.         948                $541.46
4329          27.90 Oz.         894                $515.61
9497          28.13 Oz.         922                $536.14
9498          29.83 Oz.         895                $551.89
4271          30.26 Oz.         838                $524.19
4333          30.70 Oz.         885                $561.64
4339          34.40 Oz.         893                $635.02
4331          35.00 Oz.         N/A                N/A
4302          35.17 Oz.         942                $684.86
9520          36.08 Oz.         914                $681.69
9494          41.47 Oz.         889                $762.10
9440          41.79 Oz.         881                $761.07
4262          42.06 Oz.         836                $726.86
4312          49.59 Oz.         916                $939.00
4335          50.50 Oz.         883                $921.78
4317          51.32 Oz.         828                $878.40
4215          51.43 Oz.         N/A                N/A
4243          51.98 Oz.         916                $984.26
9435          52.33 Oz.         911                $985.47
4277          52.73 Oz.         950                $1,035.52
4276          55.45 Oz.         933                $1,069.45
4202          56.56 Oz.         888                $1,038.24
4340          56.52 Oz.         869                $1,015.31
9487          58.07 Oz.         891                $1,069.56
9485          60.00 Oz.         891                N/A
4347          60.15 Oz.         925                $1,150.12
4273          66.43 Oz.         887                $1,218.05
4345          75.27 Oz.         891                $1,386.36
9484          83.35 Oz.         900                $1,550.69
4342          85.45 Oz.         896                $1,582.70
4200          85.49 Oz.         886                $1,565.76
4278          90.95 Oz.         888                $1,669.53
4336          94.39 Oz.         894                $1,744.38
4311          96.00 Oz.         773                $1,539.13
9501          97.53 Oz.         883                $1,780.23
4332          99.60 Oz.         896                $1,844.79
4293          106.08 Oz.       887                $1,945.07
9442          106.15 Oz.       915                $2,007.79
4185          109.18 Oz.       884                $1,995.14
4281          112.38 Oz.       912                $2,118.60
4272          118.86 Oz.       878                $2,157.29
9436          126.53 Oz.       876                $2,291.26
9439          133.23 Oz.       912                $2,511.74
4244          144.25 Oz.       886                $2,641.96
None         150.00 Oz.       N/A                N/A
9489          159.23 Oz.       932                $3,067.74
4257          160.64 Oz.       891                $2,958.76
4250          179.50 Oz.       886                $3,287.57
None         185.21 Oz.       N/A                N/A
4330          185.88 Oz.       931                $3,577.35
9526          195.76 Oz.       N/A                $3,381.35
4258          197.26 Oz.       898                $3,661.79
9437          242.87 Oz.       886                $4,448.21
9438          243.77 Oz.       883                $4,449.58
9510          253.13 Oz.       906                $4,740.80
4328          255.25 Oz.       943                N/A
4282          266.88 Oz.       935                $5,158.30
9434          266.97 Oz.       906                $5,000.00
9496          327.97 Oz.       909                $6,162.78
9521          464.65 Oz.       912                $8,759.90
4254          568.07 Oz.       917                $10,768.39
4255          598.08 Oz.       897                $11,089.95
4253          649.15 Oz.       875                $11,741.76
4252          652.84 Oz.       896                $12,091.90
4220          676.22 Oz.       913                $12,762.57
4050          715.85 Oz.       906                $13,406.93
4051          754.95 Oz.       900                $14,045.54
4221          866.19 Oz.       892                $15,971.93
*4338        7.54                    741                 $115.49
*4322        30.83                 839                 $534.70
*4209        36.61                 820                 $620.57
*4307        51.78                 889                 $951.57
*4279        113.55               924                 $2,168.89
*4274        142.70               868                 $2,560.49
*9483        313.54               89?                 $5,774.96
*2014 Recovery
Please note that all of the gold assayer ingots from the original treasure have now been sold to primary buyers. However, Finest Known continues to maintain an active secondary market in these rarities and makes them available to collectors and investors as these items become available. If you have assayer ingots or other treasure items recovered from the S.S. Central America and may be interested in selling them, please contact Finest Known . . . we want to make you an offer!

Kellogg & Humbert

In September 1850, Congress authorized the secretary of the Treasury to contract “with proprietors of some well-established works now in successful operation in California” to affix the stamp of the United States to bars and ingots, to assay gold and assign values to them. Moffat & Co. received the commission and appointed Augustus Humbert to become the U.S. Assayer of Gold. Humbert’s name and title were imprinted on coins issued under the government contract until 1852.
John Kellogg, a lawyer by trade, caught gold fever and arrived in San Francisco in October 1849. Kellogg secured a position with Moffat & Co. and remained with them during the operation of the U.S. Assay Office of Gold. Kellogg became a well-known name in San Francisco, having established several assaying partnerships in the early 1850’s, as well as striking a large number of gold coins in 1854 and 1855.
In the spring of 1855, John Kellogg and Augustus Humbert formed an assay office partnership, bringing together two of the best-known names in the San Francisco gold business. Augustus Humbert was such a prominent name in the gold industry that he was described, in the October 23, 1855 edition of the Alta California, as “a man who has done more than any single person we know of for the state.”
Gold bars issued by Kellogg partnerships were held in very high esteem, and most were shipped to New York or London. The treasure trove of Kellogg & Humbert monetary ingots, over 340 recovered from the S.S. Central America, confirms the historical record of how important the company, and the men who ran it, were to the exploding California economy during the Gold Rush era.
Price: Begins at $85,000 (Subject to availability)
Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingots Recovered from the S.S. Central America
Serial#      Wt.                    Fineness      1857 Value
481            5.71 Oz.            856                $101.03
617            5.80 Oz.            784                $93.99
630            8.21 Oz.            858                $145.61
671            8.75 Oz.            878                $158.81
737            8.99 Oz.            844                $156.84
976            9.14 Oz.            798                $150.77
661            9.48 Oz.            880                $172.45
856            9.58 Oz.            846                $167.53
455            9.74 Oz.            874                $175.97
768            9.56 Oz.            803                $158.69
487            10.35 Oz.         865                $185.06
740            11.03 Oz.         914                $208.27
847            11.68 Oz.         913                $220.44
598            11.97 Oz.         812                $200.92
984            13.06 Oz.         891                $240.54
654            13.14 Oz.         866                $235.22
1029          13.52 Oz.         905                $252.98
843            14.00 Oz.         844                $244.25
402            14.02 Oz.         889                $257.46
791            14.28 Oz.         854                $252.09
755            14.58 Oz.         893                $269.14
229            14.80 Oz.         837                $256.07
216            15.84 Oz.         941                $308.12
752            16.74 Oz.         732                $253.30
651            16.80 Oz.         883                $306.65
914            16.94 Oz.         900                $315.16
249            17.12 Oz.         881                $311.78
597            17.35 Oz.         879                $315.25
412            17.36 Oz.         951                $341.27
463            18.03 Oz.         929                $357.77
739            18.15 Oz.         891                $334.29
616            18.25 Oz.         879                $331.61
816            18.35 Oz.         911                $345.56
818            18.36 Oz.         897                $340.44
706            18.38 Oz.         894                $339.67
868            18.79 Oz.         892                $346.47
618            19.20 Oz.         856                $339.74
709            19.31 Oz.         770                $307.36
631            19.76 Oz.         662                $270.40
629            20.18 Oz.         881                $367.51
251            20.58 Oz.         867                $368.84
492            20.81 Oz.         899                $386.73
979            21.02 Oz.         883                $383.68
741            21.21 Oz.         795                $348.56
869            21.30 Oz.         843                $372.22
878            21.31 Oz.         866                $381.48
606            22.12 Oz.         908                $415.19
282            22.37 Oz.         910                $420.81
110            22.85 Oz.         893                $421.80
852            23.08 Oz.         861                $410.78
674            23.29 Oz.         875                $421.26
553            23.33 Oz.         764                $368.46
810            23.34 Oz.         898                $433.26
738            23.35 Oz.         917                $442.62
493            23.46 Oz.         864                $419.00
543            23.77 Oz.         860                $422.57
934            23.90 Oz.         855                $422.41
714            25.05 Oz.         804                $416.33
610            26.17 Oz.         888                $480.39
879            26.19 Oz.         889                $481.30
999            26.30 Oz.         884                $480.60
635            27.24 Oz.         856                $482.01
743            27.83 Oz.         896                $515.46
862            28.02 Oz.         888                $514.35
579            28.20 Oz.         886                $516.48
792            28.66 Oz.         955                $565.79
609            28.83 Oz.         761                $453.53
742            29.04 Oz.         903                $542.08
786            29.60 Oz.         845                $517.04
815            30.89 Oz.         848                $541.49
712            31.02 Oz.         909                $582.88
762            31.57 Oz.         803                $582.77
921            31.62 Oz.         907                $592.85
250            31.69 Oz.         881                $577.13
837            33.02 Oz.         883                $602.72
611            33.56 Oz.         827                $573.72
546            33.85 Oz.         891                $623.60
942            34.08 Oz.         929                $654.47
809            34.70 Oz.         861                $617.60
872            34.84 Oz.         853                $614.33
715            34.94 Oz.         855                $617.54
884            35.33 Oz.         888                $648.53
859            36.09 Oz.         851                $634.88
1028          36.40 Oz.         825                $620.77
793            36.45 Oz.         932                $702.24
834            36.77 Oz.         880                $668.89
367            37.08 Oz.         784                $600.94
702            37.32 Oz.         909                $701.26
461            37.33 Oz.         910                $702.22
1001          37.71 Oz.         887                $691.44
415            38.33 Oz.         882                $698.85
817            38.58 Oz.         811                $646.78
694            38.67 Oz.         913                $729.83
554            38.68 Oz.         864                $690.84
838            38.76 Oz.         892                $714.70
619            38.85 Oz.         882                $708.33
700            39.19 Oz.         904                $732.35
460            39.27 Oz.         901                $731.41
803            39.74 Oz.         887                $728.66
658            39.77 Oz.         799                $656.87
246            40.09 Oz.         889                $736.74
599            40.12 Oz.         900                $746.41
648            40.56 Oz.         887                $743.70
612            40.64 Oz.         925                $777.09
253            41.19 Oz.         896                $762.92
716            41.90 Oz.         897                $776.93
701            43.39 Oz.         911                $817.12
644            43.58 Oz.         900                $810.78
633            43.87 Oz.         878                $796.23
699            44.09 Oz.         926                $843.97
719            44.35 Oz.         794                $727.93
774            44.87 Oz.         829                $768.93
854            45.19 Oz.         893                $834.20
944            45.23 Oz.         871                $814.37
923            45.30 Oz.         933                $873.69
888            46.13 Oz.         856                $816.27
614            46.41 Oz.         871                $835.62
945            46.53 Oz.         923                $887.79
578            46.80 Oz.         888                $859.08
1017          47.40 Oz.         849                $831.88
953            47.81 Oz.         948                $936.92
943            47.86 Oz.         912                $902.29
160            47.95 Oz.         883                $875.24
948            48.03 Oz.         896                $889.61
550            48.05 Oz.         949                $942.62
922            48.05 Oz.         933                $926.78
634            48.30 Oz.         840                $838.69
787            48.48 Oz.         794                $795.72
947            48.65 Oz.         780                $784.43
711            48.70 Oz.         889                $894.97
643            48.74 Oz.         809                $815.10
784            48.91 Oz.         855                $864.43
827            49.02 Oz.         933                $945.44
894            49.74 Oz.         932                $958.29
652            49.98 Oz.         810                $836.87
825            50.42 Oz.         769                $801.51
876            50.50 Oz.         883                $921.78
909            50.50 Oz.         870                $908.21
842            52.29 Oz.         861                $930.67
949            52.37 Oz.         865                $936.43
657            52.82 Oz.         902                $984.88
622            53.05 Oz.         883                $968.33
776            53.09 Oz.         873                $958.08
215            53.60 Oz.         944                $1,045.96
779            54.07 Oz.         909                $1,016.01
341            54.08 Oz.         948                $1,069.80
607            54.46 Oz.         879                $989.56
824            55.02 Oz.         858                $975.85
623            55.21 Oz.         835                $952.97
551            55.40 Oz.         841                $963.12
673            55.44 Oz.         878                $1,006.23
545            55.82 Oz.         907                $1,046.59
230            56.11 Oz.         865                $1,003.30
552            56.25 Oz.         908                $1,055.81
950            56.50 Oz.         863                $1,007.94
788            56.87 Oz.         891                $1,047.46
794            56.91 Oz.         880                $1,035.26
507            57.42 Oz.         948                $1,125.25
366            57.90 Oz.         870                $1,041.30
717            58.41 Oz.         911                $1,099.97
785            58.77 Oz.         885                $1,075.17
549            59.41 Oz.         863                $1,059.86
933            59.69 Oz.         882                $1,088.30
1006          59.73 Oz.         842                $1,036.64
705            60.48 Oz.         887                $1,108.95
766            61.89 Oz.         905                $1,157.83
704            61.95 Oz.         901                $1,153.83
464            64.08 Oz.         837                $1,108.73
1004          64.55 Oz.         907                $1,210.27
880            65.47 Oz.         864                $1,169.32
691            65.51 Oz.         937                $1,268.89
955            65.85 Oz.         891                $1,212.86
479            66.50 Oz.         890                $1,223.46
459            66.59 Oz.         811                $1,116.37
636            66.59 Oz.         889                $1,223.74
855            67.46 Oz.         861                $1,200.68
836            68.02 Oz.         868                $1,220.48
920            68.11 Oz.         886                $1,247.44
896            68.37 Oz.         872                $1,232.42
718            69.25 Oz.         886                $1,268.32
857            69.55 Oz.         796                $1,144.42
548            69.72 Oz.         893                $1,287.02
720            70.13 Oz.         902                $1,307.64
952            70.24 Oz.         897                $1,302.43
790            70.52 Oz.         794                $1,157.46
733            71.07 Oz.         894                $1,313.41
899            73.98 Oz.         816                $1,247.90
789            75.64 Oz.         826                $1,291.54
595            75.74 Oz.         824                $1,290.12
797            79.58 Oz.         930                $1,529.90
807            81.60 Oz.         859                $1,448.97
703            82.81 Oz.         876                $1,499.56
750            87.81 Oz.         870                $1,579.21
826            85.35 Oz.         896                $1,580.85
924            86.36 Oz.         903                $1,612.05
248            87.17 Oz.         923                $1,663.21
596            89.96 Oz.         935                $1,738.76
846            90.42 Oz.         907                $1,695.32
975            91.73 Oz.         887                $1,681.95
867            92.74 Oz.         876                $1,679.38
831            93.10 Oz.         860                $1,655.11
1031          93.84 Oz.         890                $1,726.45
697            95.83 Oz.         888                $1,759.11
908            95.89 Oz.         932                $1,847.42
600            96.65 Oz.         812                $1,622.31
1027          96.79 Oz.         906                $1,812.75
893            97.10 Oz.         892                $1,790.45
835            97.16 Oz.         921                $1,849.80
981            97.19 Oz.         875                $1,757.96
547            97.50 Oz.         889                $1,791.78
1030          97.77 Oz.         896                $1,810.89
895            97.89 Oz.         908                $1,837.39
1037          98.29 Oz.         875                $1,777.87
480            98.32 Oz.         880                $1,788.55
653            98.63 Oz.         862                $1,756.50
627            100.62 Oz.       878                $1,826.24
723            101.55 Oz.       903                $1,895.60
800            101.67 Oz.       873                $1,834.78
615            102.17 Oz.       903                $1,907.17
690            102.44 Oz.       929                $1,967.26
954            103.85 Oz.       918                $1,970.72
806            103.96 Oz.       896                $1,925.54
941            104.47 Oz.       853                $1,842.12
958            104.59 Oz.       876                $1,893.96
621            107.76 Oz.       871                $1,940.24
710            107.87 Oz.       941                $2,098.30
907            108.44 Oz.       892                $1,999.55
283            108.79 Oz.       868                $1,952.04
946            109.55 Oz.       895                $2,026.81
980            110.23 Oz.       878                $2,000.66
603            110.77 Oz.       903                $2,067.71
458            111.63 Oz.       899                $2,074.53
685            111.63 Oz.       896                $2,067.61
566            111.96 Oz.       914                $2,115.38
639            112.03 Oz.       881                $2,040.27
687            112.23 Oz.       912                $2,115.83
796            113.95 Oz.       912                $2,148.26
808            114.65 Oz.       890                $2,109.31
675            115.35 Oz.       899                $2,143.66
625            116.40 Oz.       883                $2,124.67
722            117.73 Oz.       926                $2,253.59
731            117.99 Oz.       831                $2,026.86
727            118.62 Oz.       884                $2,167.65
959            118.67 Oz.       882                $2,136.66
466            119.00 Oz.       916                $2,253.31
632            120.77 Oz.       684                $1,707.63
814            121.16 Oz.       863                $2,161.47
983            121.29 Oz.       871                $2,183.85
951            121.61 Oz.       891                $2,254.26
775            122.30 Oz.       876                $2,214.66
601            123.15 Oz.       909                $2,314.07
670            124.13 Oz.       871                $2,234.98
897            124.98 Oz.       902                $2,330.37
620            125.05 Oz.       860                $2,230.22
913            125.57 Oz.       896                $2,325.80
882            126.44 Oz.       848                $2,216.45
363            127.31 Oz.       890                $2,342.23
558            128.13 Oz.       894                $2,367.91
801            128.91 Oz.       910                $2,424.97
890            130.68 Oz.       898                $2,425.85
956            130.98 Oz.       910                $2,463.91
892            131.09 Oz.       898                $2,433.46
783            131.40 Oz.       856                $2,325.13
501            135.33 Oz.       898                $2,512.17
957            136.30 Oz.       892                $2,513.27
637            136.65 Oz.       892                $2,519.73
887            137.29 Oz.       886                $2,514.49
798            142.89 Oz.       902                $2,655.00
724            142.99 Oz.       902                $2,666.19
799            144.97 Oz.       891                $2,670.14
902            145.29 Oz.       942                $2,829.21
997            147.56 Oz.       884                $2,696.49
504            150.32 Oz.       892                $2,771.79
469            150.56 Oz.       863                $2,685.96
482            152.96 Oz.       886                $2,801.49
910            152.98 Oz.       920                $2,909.38
885            154.04 Oz.       881                $2,805.36
939            154.09 Oz.       885                $2,819.01
695            155.03 Oz.       872                $2,794.53
725            155.58 Oz.       895                $2,878.43
1000          158.21 Oz.       901                $2,946.70
726            158.53 Oz.       906                $2,969.06
728            160.05 Oz.       884                $2,924.73
782            160.52 Oz.       865                $2,870.27
903            162.25 Oz.       894                $2,998.47
692            164.08 Oz.       945                $3,205.28
845            164.47 Oz.       909                $3,090.50
985            165.83 Oz.       876                $3,002.93
759            172.11 Oz.       895                $3,184.25
861            174.73 Oz.       875                $3,160.49
904            175.29 Oz.       898                $3,253.96
672            178.43 Oz.       882                $3,253.24
960            179.84 Oz.       904                $3,360.72
721            181.58 Oz.       925                $3,472.06
456            183.16 Oz.       895                $3,388.69
212            184.09 Oz.       908                $3,455.36
467            186.29 Oz.       896                $3,450.46
961            186.55 Oz.       885                $3,412.85
686            190.10 Oz.       904                $3,552.45
301            190.87 Oz.       880                $3,472.15
813            192.08 Oz.       842                $3,343.28
849            193.40 Oz.       906                $3,622.13
734            195.33 Oz.       864                $3,488.69
978            197.41 Oz.       882                $3,599.29
562            198.03 Oz.       859                $3,516.43
457            205.58 Oz.       875                $3,718.51
962            208.10 Oz.       874                $3,759.78
940            212.82 Oz.       888                $3,906.65
666            214.46 Oz.       911                $4,038.71
802            217.07 Oz.       885                $3,971.20
758            218.50 Oz.       903                $4,078.67
735            226.38 Oz.       884                $4,136.84
770            226.87 Oz.       891                $4,178.62
756            227.89 Oz.       903                $4,253.95
781            228.74 Oz.       862                $4,075.94
828            233.91 Oz.       908                $4,390.49
696            238.10 Oz.       906                $4,459.30
626            239.21 Oz.       915                $4,524.58
915            242.80 Oz.       883                $4,431.87
757            254.75 Oz.       907                $4,776.40
745            277.69 Oz.       925                $5,309.82
730            279.00 Oz.       872                $5,029.19
505            287.17 Oz.       887                $5,265.52
780            304.69 Oz.       941                $5,926.89
1002          308.49 Oz.       894                $5,701.08
471            319.88 Oz.       939                $6,209.12
384            326.07 Oz.       892                $6,012.50
805            374.24 Oz.       897                $6,939.38
900            381.33 Oz.       889                $7,007.81
906            385.23 Oz.       926                $7,374.11
898            396.91 Oz.       834                $6,842.84
689            401.97 Oz.       928                $7,711.19
881            418.92 Oz.       909                $7,871.80
561            442.05 Oz.       840                $7,675.88
905            448.43 Oz.       951                $8,815.64
963            457.75 Oz.       886                $8,383.78
901            490.32 Oz.       865                $8,767.46
829            540.13 Oz.       858                $9,579.96
830            551.48 Oz.       879                $10,020.66
555            584.95 Oz.       894                $10,810.22
804            662.28 Oz.       893                $12,225.62
1003          933.94 Oz.       903                $17,433.57
*833          13.59                 843                 $236.82
*713          13.78                 883                 $251.52
*613          17.20                 850                 $302.22
*707          20.07                 967                 $401.19
*912          20.43                 899                 $379.67
*656          24.58                 892                 $453.23
*832          25.19                 873                 $454.59
*1009        26.64                 884                 $486.81
*544          27.33                 875                 $494.34
*777          27.87                 872                 $502.37
*708          32.15                 882                 $586.17
*763          39.67                 890                 $729.84
*1008        41.62                 892                 $767.44
*911          42.44                 875                 $767.65
*491          48.70                 871                 $876.85
*761          61.41                 901                 $1,143.77
*760          75.90                 900                 $1,412.08
*503          89.33                 889                 $1,641.64
*889          92.80                 843                 $1,617.16
*1014        92.83                 879                 $1,686.76
*863          96.50                 891                 $1,777.39
*764          102.36               889                 $1,881.10
*490          106.85               857                 $1,889.39
*1018        113.74               870                 $2,045.55
*646          138.83               870                 $2,496.67
*641          157.04               874                 $2,837.27
*1010        167.53               881                 $3,051.03
*848          174.82               895                 $3,234.39
*684          197.19               882                 $3,595.28
*663          298.81               882                 $5,448.08
*2014 Recovery
Please note that all of the gold assayer ingots from the original treasure have now been sold to primary buyers. However, Finest Known continues to maintain an active secondary market in these rarities and makes them available to collectors and investors as these items become available. If you have assayer ingots or other treasure items recovered from the S.S. Central America and may be interested in selling them, please contact Finest Known . . . we want to make you an offer!

Contact Finest Known today for information on monetary ingot availability and acquisition terms. Arrangements can be made to suit many financial requirements. For qualified customers, current inventory status and comparable prices realized are available upon request at 888-900-9948.

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