1848 $2 1/2 CAL.
Mint State CAL. Quarter Eagle--A True Piece of Numismatic Americana1848 $2 1/2 CAL. MS 62 NGC. Shortly after the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill on the American River in January of 1848, 230 ounces of native California ore was sent back east by California's military governor, Colonel R. B. Mason, to Secretary of War William L. Marcy. Secretary Marcy delivered the bullion to Mint Director Robert Maskell Patterson, and instructed him that the gold was to be used to produce specially marked quarter eagles. The 1,389 pieces produced were all stamped with the abbreviation CAL. on the upper reverse just above the eagle's head in commemoration of the discovery of the Sutter's Mill discovery and subsequent gold rush. Many consider (and we believe rightfully so) that these specially stamped quarter eagles are the nation's first commemorative coins. While VF and XF examples can usually be found for a price, Mint State pieces are extremely rare and we have handled very few in the past twenty-five years.
The surfaces of this piece have the bright, satin-like luster common to this issue. And there are remarkably few abrasions for a coin in this grade; in fact, the only mark that could be used as a reliable pedigree identifier is a short horizontal scratch to the left of star 8. One of the finest pieces known of this rare and historically important gold coin. Population: 3 in 62, 9 finer (7/00).
From the Sal Westerman Collection. (NGC ID# 25HA, PCGS# 7749)
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