(320531) 49er California Gold Recovered S.S. Central America
On September 12th, 1857, the steamship SS Central America sank in the Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina in nearly 8,000 feet of water, on the way to New York with treasure fresh from the California gold rush.
In the early days of the Gold Rush era, California was a "gold dust" economy. Paper money was not yet trusted, and there was an extreme shortage of trustworthy coinage. As a result, gold dust and nuggets were a primary medium of exchange and commerce. For example, a "pinch" from a pouch of dust could be used as payment for a saloon libation after a miner's long hard day in the goldfields. Over 25 pounds of gold dust and nuggets were recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the S.S. Central America some 8,000 feet deep in the Atlantic. The gold contained in this holder was in the storage hold of the S.S. Central America.
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