Posted 10 years ago
It's coins that look like this that got me interested in collecting gold from shipwrecks. This 1865 double eagle was newly minted in San Francisco when it wound up at the bottom of the Pacific that same July.
The sidewheel steamer SS Brother Jonathan was carrying a cargo of gold from San Francisco to Portland when it sank in stormy seas shortly after leaving a stopover at Crescent City. Of the over 240 passengers and crew on board, only 1 lifeboat of 19 people made it safely to shore. For weeks afterwards, bodies would wash up on the shore.
What I like is that this coin looks like it was produced yesterday. There are no marks to indicate that it went through a violent shipwreck or sat on the bottom of the ocean for 130 years, and no wear to show that it is over 140 years old. The coin looks brand new.
You can read more about the shipwreck and the reason why this coin survived in such great condition at: http://acdwyer.com/ssbj_pg1.aspx .