The Kellogg Commemorative
Restrike Fact SheetFortuitous
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
"Ship of Gold"
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Struck in San
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.
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.