Thursday, August 30, 2012

Famous Shipwrecks

On Thursday, September 3 in the year 1857, the SS Central America, a side-wheel steamer ship, left the port city of Aspinwall (located in Panama on the Atlantic Ocean side of the country) and made a stop in Havanna on Monday September the 7th.  The next morning, the ship continued onward towards it destination of New York City.
On September the 9th, the ship encountered a tropical storm.  By Friday, the weather went from bad to just plain mean.  The ship was in the grips of a hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas.  On Saturday the 12th of September, the ship was hit with a wave and slipped beneath the surface of the ocean.

Why is this ship so important?  The cargo of this ship was valued at the time of the sinking at $2 million dollars in gold coins and bars (which was 10 tons of just gold), and this ship is sometimes called “The Ship of Gold”.  Many books have been written about the ship, along with the recovery and sale of the coins and bars.

Many collectors covet the coins of the SS Central America, and coin collectors still actively look for pieces from the shipwreck to add to their collections (even well after the sale of the cargo in the year 2000).

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