Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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[In my mind, my $5 trillion in Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 banknotes ought to count for something.]

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On 5/25/2022 at 10:44 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

From various web sources:

  • A Sky News documentary says the coins are 1909 Saints

Very nice if true. The 09-S is not easy for us poverty set collectors to find in nice shape & a 09 could check one of those 18 boxes at a savings.

I'd be on the edge of my seat if the wreck had happened in 21 :luhv:

I'm not sure how well the conserved SS Central America coins came out on average.

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On 5/26/2022 at 2:19 AM, Cat Bath said:

I'm not sure how well the conserved SS Central America coins came out on average.

Actually quite well and my understanding is only a fraction of the treasure has been recovered. When I subsequently learned how things turned out -- Tommy Thompson now in his sixth year in prison, 500 missing coins, God knows how many cheated,  investors -- I am disappointed in the way things turned out.

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On 5/26/2022 at 7:57 AM, Quintus Arrius said:

Actually quite well and my understanding is only a fraction of the treasure has been recovered. 

I think they have all the coins they are going to get from the SSCA.  There isn't enough gold/coins left to make a salvage financially viable according to folks like JA.

That's why the SS Republic thing is a bit strange.  The amount of gold and the current price certainly make it worthwhile (even decades ago)....but without knowing exactly where the gold is on the ship or if it has moved/spilled, you can't estimate costs.

Plus, I don't think they are as certain that the gold IS there on the ship compared with the SSCA.

That's how I read it.

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Posted (edited)

EC, very generous of you to allow the coin to be displayed.  Nice job !  (thumbsu

Still can't believe 445,543 were struck and only 1 survived.  Ridiculous.....:mad:

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2022 at 2:19 AM, Cat Bath said:

Very nice if true. The 09-S is not easy for us poverty set collectors to find in nice shape & a 09 could check one of those 18 boxes at a savings.

The 1909 is much much rarer than the 1909-S.  From RWB's book: 

  • Total Estimated Survivors:  3,500 vs. 12,400
  • MS-65 & Above:  25 vs. 502

I didn't track it at the time, but my understanding from QDB's book and some articles is that when the 1857-S was found it depressed the high prices somewhat.  However, a restored 1857-S from the SSCA usually sold at a discount to a non-restored original 1857-S which was super-rare before the shipwreck find. 

A partially offsetting factor was that the market for the coin expanded as it was now available/affordable to a large population who couldn't buy one before 2000. 

If any 1857-S or Liberty DE experts here remember how the pricing was affected in more detail, please chime in.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)

Normal packaging of gold coins for export was to place 7 bags separated by sawdust packing into a small keg. These were secured in a safe location on the ship. Some reports for other exports state the kegs were in a vault 2 levels below, and directly under the Captain’s quarters, with access only through that suite.

The Republic sailed from Baltimore on January 5 for New York, and from New York City on Friday January 22, 1909 at 3pm (mail and cargo closed at 12:30pm) bound for Gibraltar and Genoa. It was struck amidship by the steamer Florida the evening of January 23 off Nantucket, and sank on the 24th.

Here are the deliveries of double eagles at the Philadelphia Mint for January 1909. Any 1909-date coins had to move from Philadelphia Mint Cashier to the New York Assay Office, then to a packing facility and finally to the docked ship. This might have consumed 4 or 5 days.

412218846_Jan1909DE.jpg.79f8e8eeaa2be1233489ff16212b4c75.jpg

As shown by the Coiner's notebook excerpt, total double eagle coinage for January was $1,930,400. However, from January 13 through 15 coinage was only $981,900 - far short of the "$3,000,000 1909 DE" claimed by some. Further, even if the delivery on Jan. 19 were included (unlikely given the Republic's sailing on the 22nd) the total would have been only $1,110,400 in 1909-date double eagles.

Thus, if the ship carried this $3 million in DE, the coins had to be all or 2/3rds earlier dates.

Edited by RWB
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On 5/26/2022 at 11:42 AM, RWB said:

Here are the deliveries of double eagles at the Philadelphia Mint for January 1909. Any 1909-date coins had to move from Philadelphia Mint Cashier to the New York Assay Office, then to a packing facility and finally to the docked ship. This might have consumed 4 or 5 days.  As shown by the Coiner's notebook excerpt, total double eagle coinage for January was $1,930,400. However, from January 13 through 15 coinage was only $981,900 - far short of the "$3,000,000 1909 DE" claimed by some. Further, even if the delivery on Jan. 19 were included (unlikely given the Republic's sailing on the 22nd) the total would have been only $1,110,400 in 1909-date double eagles.

Thus, if the ship carried this $3 million in DE, the coins had to be all or 2/3rds earlier dates.

Yes, the numbers seem to be somewhat in flux here.  That's why this thing has taken 35 years and the coins are still in the ocean whereas with the SSCA they managed to get them within 10-15 years or so.

They need CERTAINTY that a given number of Double Eagles -- of whatever date -- were on that ship.  If they assume....and then there's 1/10th or 1/20th that number -- they're screwed.

Now, they can afford a haircut from their estimate of 45 tons of gold (I think SSCA had 15 tons) and still have a good amount of DEs worth saving.  We'll see.....

 

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The Russian Government apparently floated a $25 MM bond in New York shortly before this ship sailed.  And that bond helped collateralize the shipment (loan) of the gold/DEs that were on the ship.

But a bond floated on the NYSE isn't proof that the DEs in the quantity estimated were on the ship.

 

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On 5/26/2022 at 12:23 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Russian Government apparently floated a $25 MM bond in New York shortly before this ship sailed.

I have not found that mentioned in newspapers -- but there are a lot of papers. Banks would not have secured and released gold coin until after a loan had been approved.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2022 at 12:26 PM, RWB said:

I have not found that mentioned in newspapers -- but there are a lot of papers. Banks would not have secured and released gold coin until after a loan had been approved.

"The second, a much more intriguing $25 million shipment comprised of double-eagles, mint-state twenty-dollar gold pieces, 45 tons of gold coins, the proceeds from Tsarist Russia’s sale of its January 22, 1909 Bonds on Wall Street."

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/541914226/lords-of-fortune-llc-to-recover-famous-treasure-aboard-shipwreck-rms-republic-lost-in-1909

Not sure what is 100% fact and what is conjecture, admittedly. 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)

The Republic sailed on the 22nd with mail and cargo closing at 12:30pm.  The Russian loan closed on the 22nd and the US portion was not identified on that date. A large sum of gold could not have been prepared and loaded in that time frame. Further, gold shipments were normally in bars of which the NYAO was the prime source and Philadelphia Mint bullion the secondary.

I suspect a great deal of conjecture which is why this "huge treasure" sill sits off Nantucket on the continental shelf.

 

Edited by RWB
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On 5/25/2022 at 9:27 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I don't know how salvage costs have gone up/down since 1990 or so

That may be it.  A fellow would have the duty of proving to the 'Backers' that there was treasure and it's worth the cost of recovery.  You make some very interesting points.

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On 5/26/2022 at 12:38 PM, RWB said:

I suspect a great deal of conjecture which is why this "huge treasure" sill sits off Nantucket on the continental shelf.

Yes, that's what I think, too.  Would also explain why they have had trouble raising $$$.

Still....there may be SOME gold/DEs there.....hopefully, it's big enough to justify a salvage operation.

And what's with all these ships colliding/going down off the cost of Nantucket ?  Even on "Seinfeld" you had "The Andrea Doria" episode where Kramer tells us that The Stockholm went down off Nantucket with most surviving, much to George Costanza's chagrin. :bigsmile:

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On 5/26/2022 at 1:16 PM, Alex in PA. said:

That may be it.  A fellow would have the duty of proving to the 'Backers' that there was treasure and it's worth the cost of recovery.  You make some very interesting points.

It's why JA and others say there won't be any more salvage on the SSCA.  There are coins there for sure -- but not enough to justify a complete operation with all the equipment.

Maybe a billionaire coin collector who doesn't mind losing millions would bring them up, I don't know.

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[Maybe when gold reaches the $5,000/oz. level optimistic prognosticators have long predicted, the optics on resumption of recovery will change. It was my understanding that not just anyone can go to the wreckage site. I thought some entity had staked a claim barring others from access.

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Posted (edited)

From the New York Tribune, January 25, 1909, page 2:

When Captain Ransom saw that the Republic could be towed the captain and crew of the latter were placed aboard again. The Baltic headed for New York about noon. Some delay was caused in the departure of the Baltic from the side of the Republic by the drifting of the latter during the night. Influenced by the current of the Gulf Stream and carried along by a light wind, the half sunken boat had traveled a distance of some sixteen miles.

The Republic Goes Down.

After the departure of the Ba!tlc the large revenue cutters Gresham and Seneca,  which had arrived at the scene in the mean time, affixed hawsers to the Republic and started on a long tow to New York. The steamer dragged heavily and the speed was very slow. About eighty miles had been completed when the Republic began to settle, and finally she went down.

[Crew and Captain had been transferred to the Gresham before Republic sank.]

Edited by RWB
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On 5/26/2022 at 2:28 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

[Maybe when gold reaches the $5,000/oz. level optimistic prognosticators have long predicted, the optics on resumption of recovery will change. 

It could.....you may have to figure that some of the coins are only worth bullion value.  Now, I would think these early-1900's coins are worth numimsatic premiums, but maybe not.

For sure, a few thousand more coins (if not more) with an added $3,000/oz. floor would change the economics.  I think the problem here is not the value of the coins on a bullion or numismatic basis, but exactly how many there are on the ship and where on the ship are they.

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On 5/26/2022 at 5:39 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Bottom line, this ship's been out there a long time and nothing of substance has come up....yet.

FWIW, I believe 5 tons of DOUBLE Eagles (not Eagles as in the article) is 160,000 coins.

 

I wonder if I could have used my father's old slide ruler to calculate that. 🤔 

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On 5/26/2022 at 5:42 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

I wonder if I could have used my father's old slide ruler to calculate that. 🤔 

RWB can correct me...but a bag of 250 DE coins is 250 ounces....15.6 pounds per bag......5 tons is 10,000 pounds.....about 640 bags.

I'm assuming 16 oz. = 1 pound.(thumbsu

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On 5/26/2022 at 5:46 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

RWB can correct me...but a bag of 250 DE coins is 250 ounces....15.6 pounds per bag......5 tons is 10,000 pounds.....about 640 bags.

I'm assuming 16 oz. = 1 pound.(thumbsu

Actually, and I could be wrong, precious metals are weighed in Troy ounces, 12 of which equal a pound, or something like that.

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On 5/26/2022 at 5:46 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

RWB can correct me...but a bag of 250 DE coins is 250 ounces....15.6 pounds per bag......5 tons is 10,000 pounds.....about 640 bags.

I'm assuming 16 oz. = 1 pound.(thumbsu

1 DE = 1.075 T oz. 250 coins (1 bag) = 268.75 Troy ounces or 22.4 pounds (Troy or Avdp.). 5 tons = about 446 bags.

446 bags x 5,000 per bag = $2,230,000.

This quote from a diver is especially troublesome: "Unfortunately, the salvors had broken up the ship very badly and we were all disappointed in the structural integrity of the ship."

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Roger & Goldfinger:  In all my years, off and on, on this forum this Post ranks in the top five for being historical and interesting.  You have done well guys and you both deserve an 'Attaboy'.

Now, if there may be 640 bags of gold coins, era unknown, then Mister Bayerle will make out good.  At today's prices for gold, and possibly some silver, 10,000 pounds is a good find; yes?

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On 5/26/2022 at 6:02 PM, RWB said:

"Unfortunately, the salvors had broken up the ship very badly and we were all disappointed in the structural integrity of the ship."

I take it this means other salvage outfits besides Mister Bayerle were after the wreck?  

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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2022 at 6:02 PM, RWB said:

1 DE = 1.075 T oz. 250 coins (1 bag) = 268.75 Troy ounces or 22.4 pounds (Troy or Avdp.). 5 tons = about 446 bags.

446 bags x 5,000 per bag = $2,230,000.

As Chevy Chase once said in a SNL Debate circa 1976...."It was my understanding that there would be no math in this thread." xD

On 5/26/2022 at 6:02 PM, RWB said:

This quote from a diver is especially troublesome: "Unfortunately, the salvors had broken up the ship very badly and we were all disappointed in the structural integrity of the ship."

Yeah, and it appears the ship may have been moved many nautical miles.  If that happened....if bags or individual coins spilled out at that time over the ocean floor......fuhgeddaboutit.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2022 at 6:03 PM, Alex in PA. said:

Roger & Goldfinger:  In all my years, off and on, on this forum this Post ranks in the top five for being historical and interesting.  You have done well guys and you both deserve an 'Attaboy'.

Give an assist to CatBath who first posted about this.    I had never heard about it. 

As we've seen above.....there's lots of questions if this ship had the listed gold on it ...and even if that answer is YES.....if it is still salvageable.

Still....a fascinating story.  I wonder if I can see the History Channel special on YouTube or something.

On 5/26/2022 at 6:03 PM, Alex in PA. said:

Now, if there may be 640 bags of gold coins, era unknown, then Mister Bayerle will make out good.  At today's prices for gold, and possibly some silver, 10,000 pounds is a good find; yes?

IF the gold was actually on the ship....and IF it hasn't been strewn on the ocean floor....and IF it's all still on the ship in some accessible locations.  Lotta "ifs."

Hasn't been a press release since last Fall.  If anything is gonna happen, we should see it soon. 

Maybe Elon Musk can get the gold. xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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