1855 (2001) Kellogg & Co. $50. Original Dies Restrike. Proof-67 Deep Cameo (PCGS). Gold S.S. Central America Label.An incredible offering - the modern counterpart to the original Proof 1855 Kellogg & Co. offered above, and a significant numismatic rarity in its own right. Unknown to the wider numismatic community until recently, the story of these Original Dies Restrikes first came to light in Steven Feltners article "Treasure Gold Hidden in Plain Sight" published in the June 2020 edition of PCGS <em>Rare Coin Market Report</em>.<p>To the casual observer, this coin could easily be mistaken for one of the usual Kellogg & Co. $50 Commemorative Restrikes, of which several thousand were produced in 2001 for distribution to collectors. Indeed, both were struck from gold recovered from the <em>S.S. Central America</em> treasure. Specifically, a number of ingots were left unsold after the extensive marketing surrounding the disbursement of the <em>Central America</em> coins and bars into the numismatic community. The principals of the California Gold Marketing Group, who handled the disbursement of this treasure, decided to shave the face plate off these unsold ingots, maintaining their historical information for posterity, while also freeing up large amounts of gold that was then used to create these Kellogg & Co. $50 restrikes.<p>Steve Feltner tells the story of the dies used to strike these coins in his aforementioned article:<p><em>The leader of the operation was well-known entrepreneur and numismatist Dwight Manley. Dwight was able to procure an original set of 1855 Kellogg & Humbert dies from San Francisco dealer Don Kagin. How these dies were able to survive in such great condition is a miracle in itself! For the project, master engraver and die maker Ron Landis was employed. Ron reminisces, "the original dies had some surface cracks that I was concerned about, so Joe Rust press-fit heavy iron collars around both of them to ensure they couldnt break when we raised hubs from them." The hubs went on to make the dies to be used for the restrikes. As there was rust evident on the original dies, once the hubs were pressed, Ron used some abrasive stones to remove the raised features on the hubs.</em><p><em>A punch with the specific date that the coins were struck was made and stamped into the coin post-strike above the eagles head. Also, an inscription was added to the ribbon on the reverse denoting that these were struck from gold recovered from the </em>S.S. Central America<em>.</em><p>The present example, however, displays neither the S.S. CENTRAL AMERICA inscription on the ribbon nor the specific date of striking in the field between the eagles head and the scroll - the first indications that is not one of the commemorative restrikes of this type.<p>Closer inspection by a trained numismatists eye will quickly discern additional features of the coin offered here that are not seen on the commemorative restrikes. The obverse shows faint traces of die rust on Libertys portrait, most prominently on the cheek and neck. Even more significantly, the reverse is cracked in the same manner as seen on the original Proof Kellogg & Co. $50 offered above. These cracks include:<p>-From the upper border, through the letter O in SAN FRANCISCO and scroll, to the ribbon before its junction with the eagles beak<p>-From the base of the same letter O, through the bases of the letters in CALIFORNIA, then irregularly through the letters in the denomination FIFTY DOLLS.<p>-From the base of the first letter S in SAN FRANCISCO to the tops of the letters FI in FIFTY<p>-From the back of the eagles head, arcing through its right wing, to the ribbon at its junction with the shield<p>-From the lower left border, through the first letter S in SAN FRANCISCO, to the lower left corner of the shield<p>-From the letters FR in SAN FRANCISCO, through the eagles right wing tip, to the end of the upper left corner of the scroll<p>Several branch cracks extend off of these more prominent breaks.<p>The die rust and cracks that it exhibits confirm that this coin was struck from the same dies used to strike the Proof Kellogg & Co. $50 gold coins in 1855. These were the dies Dwight Manley obtained from Don Kagin, and which Ron Landis and Joe Rust used to raise the hubs that, in turn, were used to make the modern dies that struck the commemorative restrike coins with S.S. CENTRAL AMERICA on the ribbon and the date of striking stamped in the upper reverse field. Steve Feltner takes up the thread of the Original Dies Restrikes in his aforementioned article:<p><em>According to Manley, seven specimens were struck using the original dies. "The original dies were used at full pressure, and held up perfectly," Manley stated. "We only made seven as thats how many planchets were available at the end." The originals were given to different individuals who had key roles in the creation, production, and marketing of the treasure.</em><p>Steve Feltners article was published after a collector discovered one of these special coins "hiding in plain sight." After extensive research and solicitation of corroborating accounts, PCGS created unique coin #812033 for these Original Dies Restrikes.<p>The specimen offered here is expectably pristine for the assigned grade, with awesome cameo contrast to vivid medium gold surfaces. The motifs are fully defined and frosty, the fields deeply mirrored and reflective. Close inspection with a loupe readily reveals the diagnostic die rust and reverse cracks of the type. Our consignor designed and crafted a unique period-style acrylic housing to hold and display the coin in its PCGS holder. The housing, which bears relevant information about both the original Proofs from 1855 and these Original Dies Restrikes, is included with this lot.<p>Stacks Bowers Galleries is proud to present this historic offering to advanced collectors. It is a coin that would serve as a highlight in any numismatic cabinet, but which has particular appeal for those who specialize in the <em>S.S. Central America </em>or other shipwreck treasure, or the most important and iconic territorial gold.PCGS# 812033.PCGS Population: 2; 1 finer (Proof-68 Deep Cameo).Ex S.S. Central America Gold.