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S.S. Central America $50 Kellogg Restrike

cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

There have been a number of threads in the past discussing the various medals made in the early 2000's using gold recovered from the S.S. Central America. Several posts referenced actual restrikes of the $50 Kellogg coin made from the original dies. Here is one of those seven:

Compare this to an original, and you will see many of the same die breaks. In person, you can see more breaks than shown in the picture. Additionally, each striking of these restrikes seemed to damage the dies worse. In addition to the die breaks, substantial die rust can be shown on Liberty's face. In hand it is an amazing coin.

Comments

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When were those restrikes made?

    All glory is fleeting.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 29, 2020 7:39PM

    That is awesome and great to see. I didn’t expect the fields to be so pristine and the star devices (and eagle feathers) to have so much space between them, like the CHS strikes. At first I thought the spacing on the CHS strikes was due to the pantograph transfer process, but it looks like the original dies were polished and then Ron Landis used the pantograph to create the CHS dies.

    Do you know if these were indeed polished and, if so, were any struck before polishing?

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    When were those restrikes made?

    I believe that they were made in 2001, in the August / September timeframe when they were striking the medals.

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    That is awesome and great to see. I didn’t expect the fields to be so pristine and the star devices (and eagle feathers) to have so much space between them, like the CHS strikes. At first I thought the spacing on the CHS strikes was due to the pantograph transfer process, but it looks like the original dies were polished and then Ron Landis used the pantograph to create the CHS dies.

    Do you know if these were indeed polished and, if so, were any struck before polishing?

    I will do some checking and let you know. I was able to get in touch with a few of the people involved with these as part of authenticating it as being from original dies. It was originally listed under the 10238 number like the CHS medals, but is now listed as its own PCGS number.

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    I was able to confirm that they were not polished, just oiled.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 29, 2020 9:04PM

    Good to know. Still an interesting look.

    Here are 2 others to compare with, an original and a CHS strike. Yours is in the middle. The CHS strike here has tighter star devices than I remember seeing before.

    Of note the letters have much flatter serifs on yours than the CHS strike here, though others don't show it.

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    When you say tighter, I assume that comes from them being engraved deeper in the medal. Do you see the shared Die cracks between the original and the restrike?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cccoins said:
    When you say tighter, I assume that comes from them being engraved deeper in the medal.

    That's what I'm thinking.

    Do you see the shared Die cracks between the original and the restrike?

    Yes, I love die cracks and think the matching die cracks on the restrike are great!

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,224 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great to look at, but don't they violate the HPA? :/

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is an incredibly beautiful gold coin.... Wow....must be awesome to hold in hand....Cheers, RickO

  • MrBearMrBear Posts: 376 ✭✭✭

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. I'm starting to renew my interest in numismatics (my bank account says this is a Very Bad Idea). So I was digging through a box of stuff I had stashed away. Among other things, I found the accessory set for this Kellogg Restrike. I bought the whole thing at the ANA show in LA in 2009. The coin (slug? whatever) is in the safe deposit box, but I had everything else, including the stand, pamphlets, etc and the receipt. So I know how much I paid for it.

    Occasionally successful coin collector.
  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I know some don’t care for the pantograph version, but I really like them.

    Very cool to see the original, restrike, and pantograph next to each other!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember this item, struck or at least sold by the Gallery Mint Museum. My recollection is that they were asking something like $3500 or $5000. However much it was, it was really overpriced.

  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,436 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 6, 2021 7:24PM

    I think some were struck on Sept. 11th 2001.

  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,606 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are the restrikes 2.5 ounces?

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    @Coinosaurus said:
    Are the restrikes 2.5 ounces?

    2.42 oz.

    @fathom said:
    I think some were stuck on Sept. 11th 2001.

    Correct, and they carry a premium for that date.

    @WCC said:
    I remember this item, struck or at least sold by the Gallery Mint Museum. My recollection is that they were asking something like $3500 or $5000. However much it was, it was really overpriced.

    I believe that the issue price was $5,000 for the pantograph version.

  • MrBearMrBear Posts: 376 ✭✭✭

    I paid $3000 for mine, but that included a trade with some bullion, so my out-of-pocket was around $1300. I wanted it because I liked the idea of having shipwreck gold, and I couldn't afford a double eagle.

    Occasionally successful coin collector.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 6, 2021 8:47AM

    @WCC said:
    I remember this item, struck or at least sold by the Gallery Mint Museum.

    Ron Landis of the Gallery Mint Museum did the engraving, but I believe it was commissioned and sold by Dwight Manley. I’m not 100% clear on this last part but it’s from what I’ve been able to piece together.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @WCC said:
    I remember this item, struck or at least sold by the Gallery Mint Museum.

    Ron Landis of the Gallery Mint Museum did the engraving, but I believe it was commissioned and sold by Dwight Manley. I’m not 100% clear on this last part but it’s from what I’ve been able to piece together.

    I believe you are right about GMM striking it. I bought a few GMM items about the time and spoke to someone there about it but it was just too expensive.

    $5000 from the above post sounds right, a lot of money relative to the price level at the time.

  • CaptainBluntCaptainBlunt Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    I remember these pieces
    Bowers and Merena sold them
    The initial offering prices were based on their restrike dates in 2001

    the SS Sonora left SF August 20th 1857
    August 20th 2001 $4,995

    Her at sea dates 8/21-9/2
    8/21-9/2 2001 $4,695

    9/3 1857 treasure travels from Panama
    across isthmus to Aspinwall
    via railroad
    9/3 2001 $4,995

    SS CA at sea 9/4-9/11 1857
    9/4-9/11 2001 $4,695

    Sept 12 1857 SS CA sinks
    last day of the re strikes being struck
    9/12 2001 $4,995

    Three coins strike dates
    8/20, 9/3, 9/12 2001 $14,500

    Complete 24 total restrikes from each date 8/20-9/12
    2001 $104,000

  • pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not up on the history? Were the restrikes made using recovered coins from the wreck that were melted down and use to make the restrikes or bullion from the wreck that was melted down?

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
  • Dwight_MDwight_M Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    These were struck in San Francisco at the presidio. The California historical society received funds for each sale. They are made 100% from Kellogg and Humbert gold ingots from the ssca. The costs and efforts to make this happen were immense. They provide an affordable way to own a piece of the greatest treasure ever found in American history as well as have a stunning coin that originated from original dies . Ron landis did a superb job and bob Evans also. And they were struck for the 24 days the ssca sailed. The same days 154 years later. And yes , 9/11 they were able to strike 50 before closing down for the day.

  • MrBearMrBear Posts: 376 ✭✭✭

    @pmh1nic said:
    I'm not up on the history? Were the restrikes made using recovered coins from the wreck that were melted down and use to make the restrikes or bullion from the wreck that was melted down?

    Basically, they sliced the top of each ingot off, which had the assay stamps, and such, and kept that. They took the rest of the bar and melted it down.

    I don't understand the "Three coins strike dates 8/20, 9/3, 9/12 2001 $14,500" bit, though.

    Occasionally successful coin collector.
  • 1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dwight_M said:
    These were struck in San Francisco at the presidio. The California historical society received funds for each sale. They are made 100% from Kellogg and Humbert gold ingots from the ssca. The costs and efforts to make this happen were immense. They provide an affordable way to own a piece of the greatest treasure ever found in American history as well as have a stunning coin that originated from original dies . Ron landis did a superb job and bob Evans also. And they were struck for the 24 days the ssca sailed. The same days 154 years later. And yes , 9/11 they were able to strike 50 before closing down for the day.

    Like others, I eventually acquired one at later date and appreciated hearing from Dwight Manley verification of what I had recalled as to its origin.

    Would welcome some added comment though to refresh my recollection with regard to the reference to "originated from original dies." I assume this does not mean that the majority were actually struck from the original dies, although I believe there were a few that were.

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    @1northcoin said:

    @Dwight_M said:
    These were struck in San Francisco at the presidio. The California historical society received funds for each sale. They are made 100% from Kellogg and Humbert gold ingots from the ssca. The costs and efforts to make this happen were immense. They provide an affordable way to own a piece of the greatest treasure ever found in American history as well as have a stunning coin that originated from original dies . Ron landis did a superb job and bob Evans also. And they were struck for the 24 days the ssca sailed. The same days 154 years later. And yes , 9/11 they were able to strike 50 before closing down for the day.

    Like others, I eventually acquired one at later date and appreciated hearing from Dwight Manley verification of what I had recalled as to its origin.

    Would welcome some added comment though to refresh my recollection with regard to the reference to "originated from original dies." I assume this does not mean that the majority were actually struck from the original dies, although I believe there were a few that were.

    @northcoin -

    Below is a breakdown by date I found a while back. I cannot recall the source. In essence, all that are dated are from replica dies, and the seven undated are from original dies. I looks like one comment about three coins for $14,500 above might have been referring to the proof issues.

  • MrBearMrBear Posts: 376 ✭✭✭

    Mine is in an SDB in another part of the country, but I found some pix of it. Mine was minted on September 7.

    Occasionally successful coin collector.
  • Dwight_MDwight_M Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    I acquired the Original dies that struck the Kellogg $50 in 1855 in proof. Ron landis used these to make transfer dies and fro those sets of dies to strike them at the presidio in San Francisco. The dies aren’t “replicas” and the coins struck are as much a coin as any other Re strike coin found in the red book.

  • 1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 11, 2021 4:11AM

    @Dwight_M said:
    I acquired the Original dies that struck the Kellogg $50 in 1855 in proof. Ron landis used these to make transfer dies and fro those sets of dies to strike them at the presidio in San Francisco. The dies aren’t “replicas” and the coins struck are as much a coin as any other Re strike coin found in the red book.

    Thanks. Do you still have the original dies? Same question as to the whereabouts of the transfer dies. While I assume there are no plans to make additional restrikes is it physically possible that additional restrikes could be made from either the original dies or the transfer dies in the future?

    An added question. Apart from adding the date and supplemental legend, did Ron Landis make any alterations to the design itself? In other words, apart from those additions are the restrikes identical in every detail for the coins that were made from the transfer dies as for the seven from the original dies?

  • orevilleoreville Posts: 11,718 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 12, 2021 11:40AM

    Dwight:

    Are the dates indicated on each coin reflective of the actual date the coin was struck from the die as opposed to the date the die was prepared?

    I wonder if the actual date each coin was struck might have differed from the date shown on each die by a few days?
    I find it hard to believe that some of these SSCA restrikes were actually struck on 9/11/01.

    In the early fall of 2011, I personally saw that US Mint was already striking 2012 dated Gold America Eagles at the West Point Mint. I was astonished.

    A Collectors Universe poster since 1997!
  • MrBearMrBear Posts: 376 ✭✭✭

    @oreville said:
    Dwight:

    Are the dates indicated on each coin reflective of the actual date the coin was struck from the die as opposed to the date the die was prepared?

    I wonder if the actual date each coin was struck might have differed from the date shown on each die by a few days?
    I find it hard to believe that some of these SSCA restrikes were actually struck on 9/11/01.

    In the early fall of 2011, I personally saw that US Mint was already striking 2012 dated Gold America Eagles at the West Point Mint. I was astonished.

    I think I read that the "strike date" was stamped after the coin was struck, as a separate step. So maybe they ran 99 through on 9/11 and then stamped them a few days later.

    Occasionally successful coin collector.
  • CaptainBluntCaptainBlunt Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    I think Mr Bear is correct they were counterstamped with the strike date
    I think Tommy Thompson is still sitting in jail
    He at one time had 500 of these pieces
    I don’t know what the counterstamped dates on these coins were
    Are they still intact
    Only time will tell

  • Dwight_MDwight_M Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    The dies that struck them were cancelled afterwards. I sold the original dies. They were counter stamped with date of striking the same day they were made and they were struck on the day marked. Yes they were able to get some made 9/11. I had an early call with bob Evan’s who was there at the presidio the entire 24 days. It was a miracle he did that. And no the dies were not altered at all in design but some rust spots were removed in transfer. The 7 originals show the rust clearly.

  • 1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks again.

    I assume that only the transfer dies were cancelled?

    Are you able to identify the present owner of the original dies and was there ever any expressed intent to have new transfer dies made from the original dies and/or to add to the 7 that were struck from the original dies?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 17, 2022 7:05PM

    @cccoins said:
    There have been a number of threads in the past discussing the various medals made in the early 2000's using gold recovered from the S.S. Central America. Several posts referenced actual restrikes of the $50 Kellogg coin made from the original dies. Here is one of those seven:

    Compare this to an original, and you will see many of the same die breaks. In person, you can see more breaks than shown in the picture. Additionally, each striking of these restrikes seemed to damage the dies worse. In addition to the die breaks, substantial die rust can be shown on Liberty's face. In hand it is an amazing coin.

    I was talking to a forum member who held the original dies after these strikes were made and he told me that the fields on the original dies weren't polished. Because of this, he believes these strikes are not from the original dies but early die trial strikes from the transfer dies, before the transferred die cracks and rust were polished off.

    Any thoughts on this @Dwight_M or @cccoins?

  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @cccoins said:
    There have been a number of threads in the past discussing the various medals made in the early 2000's using gold recovered from the S.S. Central America. Several posts referenced actual restrikes of the $50 Kellogg coin made from the original dies. Here is one of those seven:

    Compare this to an original, and you will see many of the same die breaks. In person, you can see more breaks than shown in the picture. Additionally, each striking of these restrikes seemed to damage the dies worse. In addition to the die breaks, substantial die rust can be shown on Liberty's face. In hand it is an amazing coin.

    I was talking to a forum member who held the original dies after these strikes were made and he told me that the fields on the original dies weren't polished. Because of this, he believes these strikes are not from the original dies but early die trial strikes from the transfer dies, before the transferred die cracks and rust were polished off.

    Any thoughts on this @Dwight_M or @cccoins?

    I recently heard the same story, likely from the same person. Ultimately, I have heard his story, and I value his opinion. I have also seen documentation, such as the chart I posted above, that indicates that these seven are from the original dies.

    In the absence seeing the original dies, I continue to believe the written documentation, along with Dwight’s confirmation, as evidence that they are from the original dies. Further, I believe that PCGS did some research the lead then to the same conclusion before they certified them.

  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 7,652 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 17, 2022 11:08PM

    Here are high-resolution pictures of both re-strikes:

    "Original Die Re-strike": https://pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1855-50-kellogg-original-dies-restrike-s-central-america-dcam/812033/67

    "Copy Die Strike": https://pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1855-50-kellogg-comm-restrike-s-central-america-dcam/10238

    Side-by-side:

    The "Copy" die pair can not have originated from the other die pair. This is because the "Copy" reverse die has "S.S. CENTRAL AMERICA GOLD C.H.S." on the Eagle's banner. Those letters are incuse on the struck piece, which means the letters are raised on the die. Raised letters on a die can not be added to an existing die without removing a lot of metal around them. And this would be especially difficult doing it on a die that was already hardened for use. Also, the width of the banner was increased to accommodate the letters, especially in the area of the "D" in GOLD. So it is evident that the letters were not added to an existing die. Instead, a new die was made.

    Now the question: are both of these from transfer dies, or is one from an original die ?

    The supposed "Original Die Re-strike" has finer details than the "Copy Die Strike" (sharper hair, for example).
    If BOTH pairs of dies were made in transfer from the original dies, then why don't they both have the same level of detail ?

    My conclusion is that the so-called "Original Die Re-strikes" are, in fact, strikes from the actual original dies.

    This does mean that the Central America Gold people did extensively polish the fields on the original dies, which is something that might seem to be ill-advised to do to valuable vintage dies. But, regardless, it appears that is what they did.

  • pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,510 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great information regarding this re-strike. I have been watching a few that have been for sale lately. A great piece of history both with respect to the recovery of the gold and some being minted on 9/11/2001.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dcarr

    After reading your comment, I am curious about the rust on the face of the "original Re-strike".

    Would be safe to say that had the fields of the original die been polished to produce the mirrored fields, the Relief was left as is to keep a "cameo" contrast?

    Perhaps the rust was more extensive originally to include the fields...

    It's all about what the people want...

  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 7,652 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LukeMarshall said:
    @dcarr

    After reading your comment, I am curious about the rust on the face of the "original Re-strike".

    Would be safe to say that had the fields of the original die been polished to produce the mirrored fields, the Relief was left as is to keep a "cameo" contrast?

    Perhaps the rust was more extensive originally to include the fields...

    Before polishing, the dies might have been bead-blasted to remove loose rust and scale.
    I think that there would have been some rust roughness in the fields, and that was polished out.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2022 7:16PM

    @dcarr said:
    Here are high-resolution pictures of both re-strikes:

    "Original Die Re-strike": https://pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1855-50-kellogg-original-dies-restrike-s-central-america-dcam/812033/67

    "Copy Die Strike": https://pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1855-50-kellogg-comm-restrike-s-central-america-dcam/10238

    Side-by-side:

    The "Copy" die pair can not have originated from the other die pair. This is because the "Copy" reverse die has "S.S. CENTRAL AMERICA GOLD C.H.S." on the Eagle's banner. Those letters are incuse on the struck piece, which means the letters are raised on the die. Raised letters on a die can not be added to an existing die without removing a lot of metal around them. And this would be especially difficult doing it on a die that was already hardened for use. Also, the width of the banner was increased to accommodate the letters, especially in the area of the "D" in GOLD. So it is evident that the letters were not added to an existing die. Instead, a new die was made.

    Now the question: are both of these from transfer dies, or is one from an original die ?

    The supposed "Original Die Re-strike" has finer details than the "Copy Die Strike" (sharper hair, for example).
    If BOTH pairs of dies were made in transfer from the original dies, then why don't they both have the same level of detail ?

    My conclusion is that the so-called "Original Die Re-strikes" are, in fact, strikes from the actual original dies.

    This does mean that the Central America Gold people did extensively polish the fields on the original dies, which is something that might seem to be ill-advised to do to valuable vintage dies. But, regardless, it appears that is what they did.

    Good thoughts Dan. It's always interesting to discuss how things can be made, especially by different minters and die sinkers.

    Given that the person saw the dies in person after the coins were struck, I've been thinking about how this could happen.

    One thing I've been thinking of:

    1. test die created from coin to create "original die restrikes", but originally to create a practice piece for Ron to do hand engraving / tracing to see how the final output would look.
    2. test die is hand carved to expand width of ribbon and polished to remove die cracks
    3. hub is created from test die. hub is hand engraved to have incuse letters
    4. working die is created.
    5. final strikes are made from working dies

    Why do I think Ron would use practice strikes to hand engrave details?

    Because I have one :)

    This pair of Humbert slug die trails from Ron Landis is among my favorite die trails because one of them has been hand engraved by Ron in the creation process.

    This is just speculation on my part, but with some insight into how Ron works. Ultimately, inspection of the dies along with the recollections of Dwight and Ron would be the best.

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