Gold Found in a Sunken Ship to be Displayed at Long Beach Convention Center

It's the dream of many children to find a lost treasure. Legends of sunken ships and gold on the bottom of the ocean have been circling the world for centuries. Few of those stories, however, have proven to be true. One exception is the 1988 discovery of the S.S. Central America steamship south of Los Angeles by Bob Evans.

The ship is a proof that the California gold rush was not just a sensation. The Central America ship was hauled with $50 million worth of gold bars and coins when it sank in 1857 due to a hurricane off the coast of California. The event caused an economic turbulence due to the thousands of pounds of gold lost in the shipwreck. It was a tragedy in which four hundred and twenty-five people lost their lives.

The gold bars and coins have been covered in black gunk from the 150 year stay at 7,000 feet below the sea surface. Evans has been restoring the artifacts to their original looks and luster so they can be publicly displayed at the Long Beach Convention Center. The treasure will look as it was in 1857 after it is cleaned.

The one who originally found the treasure back in 1988, Tommy Thompson, is now in jail for keeping the treasure in his possession. A native of Ohio, he was issued an arrest warrant by an Ohio judge in 2012 and arrested from his seclusion in Florida. Five hundred coins are still missing from the whole collection. The $50 million from their sale by the convict allegedly went to towards the covering of legal fees and bank loans.

The whole treasure consists of roughly 3,100 gold coins, 10,000 silver coins, 1,000 ounces of gold dust, and 45 ignots. According to Dwight Manley, the managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group, the value of the whole treasure when the price for an ounce of gold was $1,250 is $48 million dollars.

The gold treasure display will take place February 22-24. The treasure is not planned to stay only on for the public viewing. Anyone who has the money can buy parts of the treasure. A single gold coin can cost up to $1 million dollars.