Coin (twenty dollars)

Object Number: 
2001.51
Date: 
1857
Medium: 
Gold
Dimensions: 
Case: 3 3/8 x 2 1/2 in. ( 8.6 x 6.4 cm ) Diameter (coin): 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
Marks: 
stamped: on obverse: "LIBERTY" and "1857" stamped: on reverse: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/S/TWENTY D."
Description: 
Gold twenty dollar coin ("double eagle") with bust of Liberty and 13 stars on obverse and United States shield on reverse.
Gallery Label: 
This coin was originally part of the cargo of the S.S. Central America, a sidewheel steamer carrying precious San Francisco gold bullion to New York City in September, 1857. A ferocious storm swamped the ship, and she sank to the ocean floor with $1.6 million of precious metal. The news of the sinking, in which 425 people died, encouraged the financial panic of 1857. The wreck was discovered in 1981, and a painstaking recovery expedition brought the still pristine gold to the surface.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the California Gold Marketing Group and Dwight Manley
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group