Now available are U.S. Silver Half Dollars struck just prior to AND during the Civil War by the New Orleans Mint. These coins were carefully recovered from the shipwreck SS Republic, which sank in 1865. What really makes them exciting is that 1861 was the year the New Orleans Mint was taken over by the State of Louisiana and eventually the Confederacy — it’s the ONLY time in history this has ever happened.
These Civil War-era coins are available only because Odyssey Marine Exploration, the world leader in deep-ocean shipwreck research, recovered them from the famous SS Republic shipwreck. And thanks to a renowned coin expert who carefully studied every coin, it is now possible to determine which individual coins were struck by the United States, the State of Louisiana or the Confederacy!
The New Orleans Mint Three Government Set represents one of the most amazing treasures discovered on the SS Republic. Numismatic experts are absolutely amazed that half dollars from each of the three governments that controlled the mint during the Civil War were on this ship. And archaeologically recovered in such excellent, collectible condition.
Odyssey commissioned a noted authority who literally wrote the book on Seated Liberty Half Dollars — to review the coins and attribute them as having been struck by the United States, the State of Louisiana or the Confederate States of America. Until the discovery of these coins on the SS Republic, it had never been determined which government struck which coins!
NEW ORLEANS MINT
Of all the SS Republic coins recovered, among the most important are those with the “O” mintmark. The New Orleans Mint is the ONLY mint in U.S. history to be operated by THREE different governments. Prior to 1861, all coins were struck under the authority of the United States. Then Louisiana took over mint operations after it seceded from the United States. Finally, the Confederacy took control of the New Orleans Mint in 1861, and made its own half dollars until their supply of silver bullion was gone. To this day no one knows exactly how these coins made their way from New Orleans to New York during the Civil War and then into the hold of the SS Republic for her final, fateful voyage in 1865.
For the FIRST TIME EVER, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) certified each coin and encapsulated them with special labels that attribute each coin to the United States, the State of Louisiana or the Confederacy.