SS Central America Shipwreck Coin 10C Seated Liberty Herndon Silver Dimes 1837-1856

Mint Shipwreck
Grading Genuine
Finish Struck
Composition Silver
Purity 90%
Diameter 17.90 mm
Weight gm 2.50 g
Country United States
Denomination 10 cents
Cash/Bankwire $795.00
Credit Card
In stock


These silver dimes were discovered within the purser’s box inside Captain Herndon’s shipboard safe aboard the 1857 S.S. Central America wreckage. He paid his crew members and conducted daily commerce with these silver dimes. The 7,000 feet deep freezing waters helped to preserve these artifacts for generations to come.

Houston Coin and Bullion was able to secure the entire treasure of shipwreck dimes from the wreckage of the SS Central America and we’re grateful to be the only coin dealer in the country to be able to distribute these shipwreck coins to you directly.

SSCA 10C Seated Liberty Dimes range in years from 1837-1856.



The design depicts Liberty seated on a rock holding the Union Shield. The shield bears a scroll with her name. The design unmistakably borrows from the English motif, except for the substitution of the Liberty cap for a trident. As executed on the new 1837 dime, the seated Liberty figure rests within clear, uncluttered fields.

The reverse shows the words ONE DIME within a wreath, encircled by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (This was the first time that the word “dime” appears on a U.S. coin. The Capped Bust design that preceded the Seated Liberty used the designation “10C.”).


The Herndon Silver Dimes, recovered from the wreckage of the SS Central America, are named in honor of Captain William Lewis Herndon and his crew who tirelessly worked to save the ship and the lives of the 492 passengers on board. Captain Herndon went down with the ship on the night of September 12, 1857.  Over the years, the U.S. Navy has named two ships in his honor.  The official account of the tragedy compiled by the Navy Department stated: "He went down with his ship, leaving a glowing example of devotion to duty, Christian conduct, and true heroism."  A monument to Captain Herndon stands at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Captain Herndon served in the U.S. Navy for almost forty years, was a veteran of the Mexican American War, and had won renown as a famous explorer who had traveled and mapped the Amazon River Valley to the mouth of the river in Brazil.  He was the product of a U.S. Navy geared not only to war fighting but to exploration and discovery.  Herndon had previously served at the Department of Charts and at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.  Known as the American version of David Livingston, Herndon’s published account of the exploration of the Amazon River Valley inspired Mark Twain to write Life on the Mississippi. 

Renowned historian and published author, James Pruitt, PhD in Military History from Texas A&M University, has written the accompanying piece which enlightens readers to the SS Central America. The story is unique because it weaves so many United States historical themes into one narrative that is both gripping and compelling.

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Dimensions 10x6x1
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