Thursday, September 21, 2006

SS Central America coins, ingots confiscated at Long Beach!!!

The $10 million Monaco Financial display at the Long Beach show last week was raided and six SSCA ingots and a 1857-S coin that were part of the display were siezed by US Marshals. Apparently there is a civil lawsuit between a company called International Deep Survey that did sonar work and Columbus-America Discovery Group, the company the discovered the treasure.

The scary part is that they are confiscating this stuff for the lawsuit even though the current owners have nothing to do with the dispute and the ingots and coin were not even purchased from Columbus-America. Five of the six ingots were on loan from collectors for the display. If this stuff isn't returned, what's that say for our hobby when any coin we buy could get seized because a few owners ago, someone owed someone else money. This would be the equivalent of all you people who have the Norweb pedigree on your coins and suddenly today US Marshals seize it because Mr and Mrs Norweb never paid off all their debts. Or any other pedigreed coin for that matter.

It also makes you think twice about participating in the PCGS or NGC registries if you have anything of value that is pedigreed. I may have to rethink my participation depending on what happens with the Long Beach stuff.

But I would not panic and crack out those pedigreed coins just yet. In all probability the lawyers for International Deep Survey probably did not do their homework and mistakenly thought that Tommy Thompson still owned the gold. Let's hope so anyway. If that is the case, then we should see the gold returned as soon as proper ownership is established. But I plan to play it safe until I actually see that this is the case. Better safe than sorry.

Recommended Reading:
America's Lost Treasure

A California Gold Rush history: Featuring the treasure from the S.S. Central America : a source book for the Gold Rush historian and numismatist

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea


At 3:27 PM, Blogger A.C. Dwyer (aka The Arlington Collection) said...

I did some calling today and it appears that the court in NY that issued the order to confiscate the stuff was under the impression that Tommy Thompson (the founder of Columbus-Discovery) owned the items on display. Someone apparently didn't do their homework afterall and the items are going to be returned. Now this is what I was told, until I see something in the news to this affect, I officially don't own any SSCA coins. But if this last news is true, then I guess I will continue to list my shipwreck coins on the NGC registry. (Except, of course, the SSCA coins which I don't own!)

At 1:30 AM, Blogger A.C. Dwyer (aka The Arlington Collection) said...

Apparently lawsuits are never as simple as they seem. According to the newspaper report at the following link, the court order that allowed the seizure of the gold will actually allow additional gold to be confiscated. Up to the tune of $11.8 million which is the amount being claimed is owed.

Link to Story

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Jeffery J. Alexander said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that the gold is being returned to Monaco Financial tomorrow (10/27).


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