In recent years, with archival fashion reaching the mainstream, a niche of enthusiasts and collectors have focused on discovering the perfect jeans. The nuances of fabrics, dyes, origins and dates of production, and design details that could be defined as jewelers, are the passion of historical denim enthusiasts, who have a keen eye for these hidden treasures.
However, this sub-culture has recently been rocked by the discovery of the Holy Grail equivalent of denim, a find that has been compared to the American flag on the moon due to its rarity. This is a pair of Gold Rush-era work pants that belonged to John Dement, an Oregon merchant who fought in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, and were salvaged from the wreck of the SS Central America, sunk off the coast of North Carolina in 1857.
This wreck was only found in 1988 and, in the following years, it was difficult and complex to recover its treasure, which included not only gold but also hundreds of personal items that belonged to the passengers, including the famous jeans that were auctioned off last December for $114,000.