Gold Rush Sunken Treasure Surfaces in Denver, will be Exhibited at HardRock Summit 2022, Sept. 8-11



Items will include gold jewelry, a Wells Fargo treasure box lid, jeans that may have been made by Levi Strauss, vintage ornate bottles and a mysterious "Mona Lisa of the Deep" photograph.

Press Release

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Denver, CO, USA, August 18, 2022 — After a century and a half on the ocean floor, nearly 1,000 historic California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure items from the 1857 sinking of the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America, have been brought together again and many are in Colorado. These important artifacts, including exquisite jewelry made from California Gold Rush “mother lode” native gold in quartz as gemstones, will be publicly exhibited during the HardRock Summit 2022 gem and jewelry show (, September 8 through 11, at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street in downtown Denver.

“More than 60 gold and gemstone rings, gold nugget stick pins and gold quartz cuff links were recovered and all of these Gold Rush-era creations will be displayed for the first time in Denver,” said Fred Holabird, president Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC ( Reno, Nevada.

One of the important recovered items is a large 18-karat gold quartz engraved brooch that prominent San Francisco businessman Samuel Brannan was sending to his son in Geneva, Switzerland, as a gift to the son’s teacher. There is also a recovered REGARD ring created with a ruby (missing), emerald, garnet, amethyst, rose quartz, and diamond.

The recovered artifacts will be offered in public auctions in October and November by Holabird Western Americana Collections of Reno, Nevada.

The S.S. Central America sank 7,200 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast during a hurricane on September 12, 1857. She was on a voyage from Panama to New York carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins, ingots, and gold dust from the San Francisco and Northern California area. The tragedy took the lives of 425 of the ship’s 578 passengers and crewmembers, and the loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial Panic of 1857 in the United States.

For additional information about the recovered artifacts and auctions planned for October and November, visit, call 775-851-1859, or email [email protected]