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The Kellogg Commemorative Restrike Fact Sheet

Fortuitous Circumstances:
By incredibly fortuitous circumstances, the original dies for the celebrated 1855 Kellogg $50 gold coin survived. For many years, the dies were owned by Mrs. Harry Cutler of San Francisco, later passing into the hands of modern numismatists. Next, the SS Central America, which was the most remarkable numismatic find of the century, brought about an incredible treasure trove of Kellogg's assayer ingots from the gold rush era. These California Gold Rush monetary ingots would otherwise not have survived if not lost at sea in 1857 and subsequently recovered with Tommy Thompson's unique American ingenuity capitalized with momentous funding form private investors. The California Historical Society was fascinated and excited about the prospects of producing a truly historic commemorative coin which could be struck from Kellogg's gold rush ingots using his original dies.

"Ship of Gold" Pedigree:
Each coin has been struck from gold taken from a unique and original Gold Rush ingot made in San Francisco by Kellogg & Humbert-the same John G. Kellogg who issued the original 1855 $50 coin. Each ingot was part of the recovered treasure from the most famous of all finds, the SS Central America, "The Ship of Gold," lost at sea on September 12, 1857. Four books have been written on the subject, and the story has been featured on the History Channel and in other media. Warner Brothers' feature film is in production with an $80,000,000 budget, adding significant importance.

Incredible Importance:
Only about a dozen original 1855 Kellogg $50 coins are known to exist, each valued at $200,000+ (if you can find one for sale), and none of which is a gem Proof. These coins are legendary rarities. The closely related commemorative restrikes, created by transfer die process from the original 1855 dies, are of even finer quality and are highly affordable. As such, the presently offered coins are of great importance.

Impeccable Quality:
Each 1855 commemorative restrike has been carefully struck with a gem Proof finish-creating a specimen of exquisite quality and beauty. Moreover, each coin has been fitted in a custom display case with a hand-hammered copper frame and gold-imprinted purple ribbons-modeled after frame created by San Francisco jewelers, Shreve & Co., for the famous 1915-S Panama-Pacific commemorative coins. A few samples were released in an uncirculated "matte" finish.

Distinguished Sponsorship:
The California Historical Society (C.H.S.) has lent its imprimatur to the project. As the C.H.S. is a famous archive and repository for Gold Rush history, research, and memorabilia, and is the organization in its field, this is a very important cachet and endorsement.

An Important Coin In Its Own Right:
As the reverse inscription is new and different, there is no possibility for confusing the restrike with the original. Indeed, the 1855 commemorative restrike, with the inscription on the reverse ribbon mentioning the SS Central America and C.H.S. will be collected separately and is listed in the latest 2002 SS Central America Special Edition Guide Book of U.S. Coins, Kenneth E. Bressett, editor, the standard reference on American coinage.

Struck in San Francisco:
To further increase the importance of this incredible commemorative restrike, special arrangements were made, and the pieces were struck at the Presidio using a decommissioned San Francisco Mint Press.

Limited Edition:
Fewer than 5,000 specimens were struck, creating a strictly limited edition. Individual Craftsmanship: Each coin is hand counter-stamped on the reverse with its exact date of striking, as was the first U.S. commemorative coin-the 1848 "CAL." $2.50 gold.

The combination of the original Gold Rush gold from the assay office of Kellogg & Humbert, its connection with the SS Central America treasure, the rarity and incredible value of the related original 1855 coin, the limited edition of the commemorative restrike, the connection with the California Historical Society, the Gem Proof finish, and the elegant display case is unequalled in American numismatic history.

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