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During the California Gold Rush, paper money was not used in the West and certainly not accepted in foreign exchange. Gold coins and Monetary Ingot bullion bars were money and had to be transported by Sidewheel Steamers.

In September 1857, the S.S. Central America sank in a hurricane taking tons of California gold 8,000 below the Atlantic. 130 years later, a small group of young techies discovered “The “Greatest Treasure Ever Found,” according to LIFE Magazine. The ROV (Remote Operating Vehicle) cameras panned to “The Garden of Gold” where hundred of California Gold Monetary Ingots were piled in the wreckage on the ocean floor.

The first recovery in 1988 brought up 577 Gold Monetary Ingots, and the second recovery in 2014, recovered 45 Monetary Ingots. Each recovered Treasure Ingot is totally unique, with weight, fineness, face value, serial number, and Assayer’s mark stamped into the Ingot face.

These museum worthy documents of gold are extremely rare artifacts of California Gold Rush history, recovered from the Greatest Treasure Ever Found, The Ship of Gold.