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The 1855 Kellogg & Co. $50 Gold Gem Commemorative Restrike by CaptBrian1

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To be or not to be a grade? That is the question


I have recently acquired the above coin, and it is a stunning example. First of all, it is nearly 2.5 oz. of Au, (boy do I love klinking gold coins. I don't clink this one). It is rated by PCGS as GEM quality, so I suppose it is a 'graded coin'. But has no registration number, ergo I can't put it in my registry. As far as I'm concerned, if I can add it to the registry, it is ONLY a collectible or an investment. Where would you put this coin? On the table in the living room, or in the vault? Would you keep this one of 500 for appreation or let it go at the first profit? This fits nowhere in my collection and although it is beautiful, my quest is to grow my graded collection, not just add bullion to my treasure chest. It came with full paperwork and an eyefull to be sure it is with its frame, COA, box and sleeve. Any owner would be proud of its presentation. Better keep the boxes nice if you want to display it.

My picture of it is not the greatest, but there it is. What do you think fellow collectors, investment or collection material?

Capt. Brian



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I noticed that one of these sold at Great Collections last Sunday for a little more than $5000 with buyers premium. From my perspective, its the design of the coin or in this case re-strike that attracts me to it. If I were collecting territorial gold, I would definitely see this as a viable alternative to owning a genuine Kellogg. Add to this the intrigue of shipwreck gold and I'm hooked. Were the cost of the re-strike not so prohibitive, I might buy one. However, at 5 G's a pop, I have higher priorities in my collection for that kind of money. Regardless, I like the re-strike, congratulations on your pick-up. I'm hoping that the bill to recreate the Panama-Pacific commemoratives is passed in congress. If it does, I'll snap those up from the mint just as fast as I can. This goes to say that I love the re-do coins and whether they be re-strikes or coins, I love the classic designs. For me to have modern hi-grade coins of classic designs is the next best thing to the real thing, especially where the real thing is cost prohibitive.


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They are a bit better that your average "replica" coin... here are some interesting facts...

1)  They were minted from planchets derived from actual Kellogg & Humbert ingots found on the SS Central America.

2) The dies used were transfers from the originals still in existence.

3) SS Central America Gold - C.H.S. (California Historical Society) appears on the ribbon in the eagle's beak on the reverse.  On original coins the ribbon is blank.

4) They were minted in San Francisco on an actual SF Mint press at the presidio from August 20 - September 12, 2001, the actual time frame of the original "Ship of Gold" voyage.

5) The actual mintage dates are counter-stamped on the reverse of each coin.

6) The most coveted re-strike mintage date on which 98 proofs were produced is (perhaps unsurprisingly) September 11, 2001.

7) About 500 of the 5000 minted have the illustrated uncirculated finish, the rest have a proof finish.  (The Original 1855 coins were all proofs, of which about a dozen exist.)

8) Tommy Thompson, the now incarcerated scientist who found and salvaged the Central America has been reported in the WSJ to have 500 of these restrike coins secreted somewhere in Belize.

9) About half a dozen of theee re-strikes WITHOUT the counterstamp and supplemental inscription were also struck.

10)  They sell for close to spot, with small premiums occasionally paid.

Since the originals were private issue and not Mint Product, there could be no so-called US Mint "re-strikes".

These, made from literally the same source gold as the originals, and made from the transfers of the original dies, are as close as anyone could get to "actual" restrikes... 

They are beautifully made and very heavy gold coins.  Not many coins of this size and quality are available to collectors at such an affordable price.


                                                                                                      Any coin with a story has potential value, and these coins have a story...

The Gold Alloy they contain is actual California Gold Rush gold, mined in the 1850's.

The gold in these coins was present at the historic sinking of the Central America by hurricane in 1857, and spent over 130 years under more than a mile of ocean before being retrieved.

The coins were minted at the time of the World Trade Center attack (some on the actual day), and thus are closely associated with two significant tragedies in American history. 

They celebrate the scientific achievement of the salvage of the SS Cental America, a historic event in its own right, recounted in bestselling Author Gary Kinder's "Ship of Gold".

Some of these coins remain missing as part of the ongoing story of salvor Tommy Thompson, who remains in jail pending his revealing their whereabouts.





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