What happened to the SS Central America gold?
The Rest of the Story….
After getting many questions about the last Journal, it’s become necessary to tell “the rest of the story” regarding the recovery of the lost gold on the sunken SS Central America.
Over 7,000 gold coins were recovered from the S.S.  Central America  during the shipwreck’s discovery in 1988, exactly 131 years after its last voyage. Treasure hunter and Ohio native Tommy Thompson found the ship in 1988 after convincing 161 local investors to fund the voyage for nearly $13 million.
Using a robotic vehicle built in a garage, they first found what they called the "Garden of Gold" more than a mile below the surface, where they were able to retrieve some of the gold.
After the coins of the S.S. Central America were brought up from 7,200 feet below the ocean’s surface, the gold coins were put in chemically neutral nylon tubes for safe transport (see picture to right). Above the coin tubes is another photograph of the coins on the seabed from the “Garden of Gold.”
After salvage from the seas, a lengthy lawsuit ensued over ownership of the gold, with Thompson and his investors eventually emerging as the winners over a group of insurance companies. Thompson's company then sold 532 gold bars and thousands of coins to the California Gold Marketing Group (CGMG) for about $50 million in 2000. But investors who helped finance the $13 million expedition claimed Thompson never paid them. He then ‘disappeared’…along with hundreds of gold coins.
Federal Marshals hunted for Thompson for two and a half years, and finally found him in 2015. He remains behind bars to this day for refusing to answer questions about the missing gold coins.
Now I’m not selling gold coins, but I was just curious, and I went on line and found a gold coin for sale from the SS Central America.
US 20 Dollar Gold Liberty Coin
1857  SS Central America
Shipwreck Treasure
So there’s the ‘rest of the story.’ A coin that started in the Gold fields of California 162 years ago, and went to the bottom of the ocean for over a century, creating a Wall Street Panic and three year Depression in America, that resulted in the creation of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). This led over time to the ABS LED lighting Rules and Certifications for all Marine facilities and ships on all the oceans of the world. And now, what you see here, it’s become part of an ‘App’ on the Internet that you can buy with a ‘click’ of your mouse. But - this is NOT just a coin. This is a piece of history that’s been places, and done things, and changed the world of LED lighting fixtures.
Bill Nagengast, Lighting Engineer
Solas Ray Lighting
Holds over 20 patents in the lighting industry.
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TJ-61 3.7.19