1852 $20 SS Republic NGC AU 55
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Until the San Francisco Mint began operations in 1854, most of the gold mined in California was shipped by sea to Philadelphia for conversion in coins. The 1852 double eagle had a high mintage of more than 2 million pieces, but many of these quickly experienced light to moderate circulation, with few examples set aside by collectors that have graded Mint State today.
The SS Republic, originally named the SS Tennessee when it was built in 1853, was lost in a hurricane off the Georgia coast just 12 years later. It was carrying approximately $400,000 worth of U.S. gold and silver which sank with the ship on October 25, 1865. It lay there for 138 years until 2003 when a commercial archaeology company found the wreckage after months of research and scouring the sea using the most advanced technology.
The coin itself has been preserved and graded by NGC. As is the case with most 1852 Double Eagles from Philadelphia, it is very well struck with beautiful luster; especially after being under water for over 135 years. This coin is very deserving of the AU-55 grade as there is only the slightest bit of wear present and probably only circulated for a short time. The coin comes in a custom wooden presentation box with a booklet and CD-Rom which traces the history of the ship and its voyages as well as the steps taken to recover these lost artifacts from the sunken SS Republic.