Kellogg & Humbert gold ingot expected to reach $180,000

A Kellogg & Humbert gold ingot could make $150,000-180,000 in a coin sale at Bonhams Los Angeles on June 6.

The bar was recovered from the wreck of the SS Central America, which sank in a hurricane off the South Carolina coast.  

ingot gold Kellogg
Gold bars marked Kellogg & Humbert are extremely rare

It was carrying around 30,000 pounds of gold, a not inconsiderable amount. In fact the loss of the bullion was one of the main causes of the Panic of 1857.  

This specimen is engraved with its face value ($1,274.44 - that's $32,032 in today's money) and is still in good condition despite its centuries on the sea bed.

Bonhams explains: "Kellogg & Humbert were government-supervised assayers in San Francisco, but until the recovery of the wreck of the S.S. Central America in the 1980s, no bars by these important California gold rush participants were known.

"In fact, it is because Kellogg & Humbert were such important participants in California history, many numismatists now consider these gold bars best represent the California Gold Rush era…

"The value of this bar at the time of its issue would have purchased several city blocks in downtown San Francisco or substantial acreage in Beverly Hills."

Much of the gold (valued at around $50.7m today) was recovered from the wreck in the late 1990s.

In 2001 an enormous 80 pound example sold for $8m - then a world record for a piece of currency.

You can take a look at all our coins for sale here.

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