Shipwreck Coins

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Coin collecting gives hobbyists the chance to connect with the past. Some of those connections are to specific mints, and all connect with civilizations and time periods. Shipwreck coins offer all that and more, because they are tied to specific events, often tragic ones. They provide intimate connections between collectors and those who were on ships when they wrecked, survivors and deceased alike. Depending on the size and circumstances of the wreck, shipwreck coins may even provide connections with specific events that changed the histories of nations. While these coins are almost always worse for the wear, they tell tales that other coins cannot, which is why every collector should have at least one. Scroll below to learn more about shipwreck coins and to find the perfect fit for your collection.

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SS Republic Shipwreck Coins

The SS Republic had a fascinating, albeit brief, history. Initially called the SS Tennessee, the ship launched in 1853. After serving as a merchant and later passenger vessel, she was seized by Confederate forces to be used as a blockade runner. It was renamed the CSS Tennessee, although she never escaped the Union blockade. The Union took it after it captured New Orleans, and it became a gunship known as the USS Tennessee and later the USS Mobile. After suffering damage in a hurricane, the ship was auctioned off, restored to its original name, and back in service as a civilian ship. On its fifth voyage between New York and New Orleans, she sank in a hurricane. While most of her crew and passengers survived on lifeboats, all the coins that she was carrying were lost.

When she wrecked, she was carrying $400,000 in coins, most of which were $10 and $20 gold pieces. Many of these coins were recovered after Odyssey Marine Exploration found the wreck in 2003. Among the coins recovered by the operation were many 1858-O Seated Liberty Half Dollars. is proud to have some of these recovered coins available for our customers.

Other Shipwreck Coins

Wealth has long traveled on ships, but the global commerce of the 15th century to the 19th century was particularly precarious. The Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Portugal built empires and brought wealth from around the world home. Unfortunately, much of that wealth never made it to its intended destination. Some estimates suggest that a third of Spanish ships did not complete their final journeys. Coins from many of these wrecks have never been recovered, but will be here to offer them to you when they are!