On July 30, a huge number of banknotes and coins went on sale in California. The sale was in honour of the SS New York, and items which were recovered from the wreck were available too.

The exciting range of coins originated all over the world, but was divided up into three sections. The first section was based on US coins, the second included coins recovered from the ship and the third from around the world.

The second sale included items such as ingots along with the currency.

Remarkably, the top sale price was tied between two items: an Eliasberg 1817 half dollar (graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service at an impressive AU-50) and a scarcely seen Proof-65 RD copper Judd-64 example of the 1836 Gobrecht dollar. Both went for exactly $356,500.

The top price from modern Europe was an 1880 (Victorian) Proof Sovereign which fetched $25,300.

There were relatively few truly ancient coins available. Experienced collectors will know that the oldest coins are not necessarily the most expensive or collectible as many examples are still common, though not necessarily in great condition.

One which did make an impact was an Extremely Fine example of a Roman gold coin (or aureus) from the reign of the terrifying Emperor Nero. This was snapped up for $8,913.

The top coin from the wreck itself was one of a few 1846 Large Date half eagles, and it went for $20,700.

Many investors are buying collectible coins at the moment, especially gold coins, as they represent tangible, durable objects which are likely to hold their value whilst other investments may not. 


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