|The SS Republic was lost in a hurricane of the coast of Georgia in October 1865 while on its way to New Orleans. The ship was carrying much needed supplies and coinage to New Orleans which was recovering from the Civil War. The wreck of the SS Republic was not discovered until 2003 when Odyssey Marine found the ship and began the recovery of its hoard of coinage. The coins that were recovered from the wreck of the SS Republic were expertly conserved and certified by NGC.
From the NGC website, when the saltwater damage to a coin is so heavy that there is so much metal loss that assigning an accurate grade of the coin’s actual wear prior to saltwater exposure is no longer possible, the coin is given a designation of SHIPWRECK EFFECT with no grade. For coins with only a moderate disturbance to its surface from exposure to saltwater and where a details grade can still be accurately assigned, a designation of SHIPWRECK EFFECT (C) is given along with an estimated grade. If the coin has only light surface disturbance from immersion in saltwater that does not affect the central design elements of the coin, a designation of SHIPWRECK EFFECT (B) can be given along with an estimated grade. Only the very best coins collect from a shipwreck which exhibit minimal surface disturbance from saltwater exposure, and which exhibit superior eye appeal, can be awarded the SHIPWRECK EFFECT (A) designation by NGC along with an estimated grade.
FROM THE NGC WEBSITE:
SHIPWRECK EFFECT A — a coin exhibiting minimal surface disturbance from saltwater exposure, and exhibiting superior eye appeal for a shipwreck artifact.
SHIPWRECK EFFECT B — a coin showing evidence of light surface disturbance from immersion in saltwater, and may have some areas of moderate disturbance, not affecting central design elements. Coin possesses above-average eye appeal for shipwreck recovery coin.
SHIPWRECK EFFECT C — a coin displaying moderate disturbance to its surface from exposure to saltwater, while possessing at least average eye appeal for a recovery specimen. Accurate attribution and identification is not hindered by any surface impairment.
SHIPWRECK EFFECT — portions of the coin exhibit heavy to severe disturbance from saltwater exposure, with metal loss affecting the design. While accurate identification and attribution may be possible, it is no longer possible to draw conclusive determinations about the coin’s surface prior to saltwater exposure.
The coin offered here is an 1861-O Seated Liberty Half Dollar which as been certified by NGC as SHIPWRECK EFFECT (A) with UNC details, the highest designation awarded to shipwreck recovered coins by NGC. The coin is also certified by NGC as being a United States Issue from die pair W-02 meaning that the coin was struck by the New Orleans Mint before Louisiana’s secession from the United States in 1861 and while the Mint was still under the control of the United States Government. Although the coin exhibits a few traces of light saltwater damage on the surfaces, the damage is relatively minor and the coin shows very well struck uncirculated details on both sides which shows the full details of the design. The coin is also bright white and untoned with lustrous and slightly prooflike surfaces. You will almost certainly see other examples of SS Republic shipwreck recovered 1861-O Seated Half Dollars available for less, but the coin offered here is a very high end example being designated as SHIPWRECK EFFECT (A) with uncirculated details and is certainly one of the nicest I have handled. An awesome Seated Liberty Half Dollar minted in New Orleans just before the outbreak of the Civil War and ultimately recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck.