The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Selected Favorite Coins from A.C. Dwyer's Type Collection

About the Coin

The S.S. Republic was a sidewheel steamer that on October 19, 1865 departed from New York's Staten Island headed for New Orleans, Louisiana with about $400,000 dollars worth of gold and silver coins onboard. The numismatic value of the treasure is estimated to be worth about $180 million today.

On October 25, 1865, the ship sank in a hurricane off the coast of Georgia. In 2003, Odyssey Marine Exploration (OME) discovered the wreck and recovered an estimated 40% of the treasure. They recovered over 51,000 coins of which all but about 3,400 were silver.

There were several thousand Type 1 double eagles that consisted of every date and mint mark in the series except the rare 1856-O and 1866-S. There was also a smaller quantity of gold eagles ranging in date from 1838 through 1858. However, the vast majority of the treasure was Seated Liberty half dollars.

This 1861-O Liberty Seated half dollar is one of a few that are in The Arlington Collection. Although you can see the effects of the salt water etching on the coins, the amazing thing is just how nice these coins really are. Silver coins do not usually survive this nicely in salt water.

The quarter dollar from the S.S. Central America in The Arlington Collection is a great example of just how badly silver coins usually fare in the harsh environment of the ocean. It helps give some perspective to just how nice many of the silver coins from the S.S. Republic truly are even though they've been designated as "Shipwreck Effect" by NGC.

1861-O 50ยข Half Dollar

Seated Liberty — S.S. Republic
Shipwreck Effect

1861-O Seated Libert Half Dollar SS Republic Obverse
1861-O Seated Liberty Half Dollar SS Republic Reverse

The Arlington Collection of U.S. Type Coins