Tuesday, March 14, 2006


PCGS Currency Makes Inventory of Recovered Andrea Doria Bank Notes


Coin Collector News
March 11, 2006

One of the Andrea Doria’s undated Banca d’Italia
1,000 Lire notes certified by PCGS Currency.

PCGS Currency, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) of Newport Beach, California, has made the first known public inventory by series type of historic bank notes recovered from a safe salvaged from the submerged Italian ocean liner, Andrea Doria.

More than 3,600 recovered notes certified by PCGS Currency will be made available to collectors by Rare Coin Wholesalers of Dana Point, California to coincide with this year's 50th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

"Some of the U.S. notes are in remarkably excellent condition," said Jason W. Bradford, President of PCGS Currency. "We found a total of 99 star notes among the different Series 1935 Silver Certificates."

A PCGS Currency-certified Series 1935E $1 Silver Certificate recovered from the famous 1956 wreck of the ocean liner Andrea Doria.

Star notes have a star in front of the serial number indicating the original note with that number was replaced by the Treasury Department, perhaps because of a printing error.

During a voyage from Genoa, Italy to New York City, the Andrea Doria and another liner, Stockholm, collided in heavy fog off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts on the night of July 25, 1956. A total of 52 passengers and crewmembers were killed, and more than 1,600 people were safely rescued before the 700-foot long, 30,000-ton Andrea Doria sank the next morning.

On August 27, 1981, during Hurricane Dennis, marine explorer and department store heir, Peter Gimble, and his team recovered the Banco di Roma (Bank of Rome) safe that had been submerged in the shipwreck 250 feet under the Atlantic Ocean for 25 years. It was believed the 650-pound safe contained First Class passenger's jewelry and other valuables; however, those items apparently were removed by their owners prior to evacuation or earlier on the evening of the collision in preparation for the ship's docking in New York the next day.

With thousands of U.S. and Italian notes from the historic shipwreck lining the wall behind him, PCGS Currency President Jason Bradford holds one of the $1 Silver Certificate notes recovered from the Andrea Doria.

When the safe finally was opened during a live television broadcast three years later on August 3, 1984, the sunken treasure contents were revealed: stacks of U.S. $1 Silver Certificates and Italian bank notes in 50, 100 and 1,000 Lire denominations. Gimble and his wife, actress and diver Elga Andersen, subsequently preserved and sold some of the notes in specially-made Lucite holders.

Rare Coin Wholesalers acquired the remaining notes and submitted them to PCGS Currency for certification and the first-ever public inventory of the remaining 3,606 notes.

"The Andrea Doria saga is a phenomenal story of a tragic nautical accident and a dramatic, incredible rescue of passengers and crew," said Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers.

"A quarter-century after the sinking Peter Gimble made a mind-boggling effort during a hurricane to locate and retrieve these notes encased in packets of mud and salt water, and then preserve them as treasure for future generations. I'm sure there will be considerable demand for these pieces of history with this year's 50th anniversary of the shipwreck."

There are 2,726 U.S. $1 Silver Certificates according to the PCGS inventory:

# Series 1935: 5 notes
# Series 1935A: 17 notes
# Series 1935B: 6 notes
# Series 1935C 68 notes
# Series 1935 C* 1 star note
# Series 1935D 224 notes
# Series 1935D* 1 star note
# Series 1935E 2,302 notes
# Series 1935E* 97 star notes
# Unknown Series 5 notes

Some of the 3,606 holders housing U.S. $1 Silver Certificates and Italian bank notes recovered from the 1956 shipwreck of the Andrea Doria and now certified by PCGS Currency."There are a total of 878 undated Banca d'Italia notes from the 1947 to 1951 series, the type that would have been in general circulation in Italy in 1956, and as well as a pair of North Africa notes," said Bradford.

# North Africa $1 2 notes
# Italy 50 Lire 13 notes
# Italy 100 Lire 7 notes
# Italy 1,000 Lire 858 notes


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