13,500 Gold and Silver Coins Discovered in South Carolina

An 1857 shipwreck that settled off the South Carolina coast has yielded a bounty of 13,500 gold and silver coins for the ship’s state-sanctioned scavengers, Odyssey Marine Exploration. Gold and silver market analysts believe some of the coins could make their way into the hands of coin collectors, and those same analysts believe investor appeal will likely be minimal.

“The gold coin market is already saturated with viable investment-grade gold, and we don’t foresee a lot of serious investors targeting these or any other shipwreck gold and silver coins,” said researcher Don Steele. “The premiums are going to be astronomical and it could take years for the numismatic value of such coins to increase.”

Many of the coins recovered last week are St. Gaudens $20 gold coins minted between 1823 and 1857, and the salvage crew has reported finding a substantial number of $10, $5, $2.50 and $1 gold coins, too. Massive gold bullion bars and safes full of gold dust have been recovered as well, bringing the total haul of gold so far to about 1,000 ounces.

Although the volume of gold recovered so far is worth about $1.3 million based on today’s gold spot price of $1,307.60, rare gold coin market analysts believe some of the coins could fetch up to $10 million each. “If people thought the Saddle Ridge gold coin hoard was incredible then they should wait for the auction of these coins to go live,” said one numismatist.

Investors who are looking to make money or hedge their other investments, however, may want to look in another direction when it comes to buying gold and silver. Reputable gold and silver dealers typically recommend gold or silver bullion for short-term holding periods, while investors who plan to sit on their metal may do better financially with PCGS gold and silver coins. Our comprehensive guide to gold and silver investing, The 2014 Insider’s Guide to Gold & Silver Investing, covers everything from product selection to holding patterns, and it is now available for free by calling 800-394-3337 or by clicking on the magazine(s) below.

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