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The S.S. Republic

The S.S. Republic

September 30, 2010462 view(s)

With the Civil War over, the North was working to rebuild the devastated South. In 1865, the steam driven paddle wheeler S.S. Republic set sail on the long voyage from New York to New Orleans. On board, the cargo contained household goods, school supplies and a large shipment of gold coins, to aid the recovery effort. A major New York bank was sending the coins to New Orleans, making it possible for those in the city to conduct their daily business. On the 22nd of October, 1865 the S.S. Republic encountered a hurricane force storm off the coast of Georgia. The valiant crew struggled and fought to keep the ship afloat for three long days before finally abandoning ship on the 25th of October.

The S.S. Republic then sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with the hoard of gold coins still secured in her holds, where it would lie undisturbed for 138 years in 1,700 feet of water. After 12 years of searching using the same technology they used to locate the Titanic, the Odyssey Marine Expedition Group was finally able to locate the wreck of the S.S. Republic. Using sonar and the latest in computer technology the entire wreckage was located and stunning video images showed that the site was littered with wreckage and many Civil War era artifacts including the ship's bell and the 20-foot long paddle wheel that drove her through the waters. Included in this find were the slates that were headed to the schools in New Orleans, still sealed jars of fruit and most important of all, the hoard of gold and silver coins that were destined to help rebuild the economy of New Orleans.

The list of coins that were recovered from the wreck includes 47,000 silver half dollars, 2,620 gold $20 Double Eagles and 1,496 gold $10 Single Eagles. All were listed as in being subjected to "shipwreck effect" by the PCGS as they had been exposed to salt water for so many years and their condition had suffered. There are still a few of these coins up for a sale and despite their less than perfect condition; the history behind the long lost hoard has made them a very good investment. Most of them have disappeared into private collections, but you will find that there are still a few to be found for sale.

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