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Lustrous (!) 1849 Miners' Bank $10 Gold

(1849) $10 Miners' Bank Ten Dollars. AU58 PCGS. Kagin-1, breen-7777, R.6. Miners' Bank was a San Francisco concern that was in business at least by March 1, 1849, and possibly earlier. This is known partly because some paper currency notes were issued by the firm on that date. An example of the currency is illustrated on page 100 of Donald Kagin's reference. This was an unsuccessful business firm for the president and cashier, Stephen A. Wright and Samuel Haight, being dissolved on January 14, 1850. David C. Broderick of the Broderick and Kohler firm actually produced these coins on behalf of the bank.

Wright and Haight petitioned the customs collector to accept their coins, stating that they would be willing to give bonds of any amount required. Their petition dated August 7, 1849 was rejected. By October 16 of that year, examples of the Miners' Bank coinage had reached the New Orleans Mint where an assay took place, thus pinpointing the date of production to a two month period. The Miners' Bank coins were not widely accepted, and by April 1850 were considered a "drug on the market." An April 11, 1850 report in the Alta California newspaper noted: "Brokers refuse to touch it at less than 20 percent discount."

Two different issues were produced, and they are distinctive for either brilliant orange-gold color or attractive green-gold color. It is believed that the orange colored pieces (Kagin 1) were die trials produced in the east, while the green-colored pieces (Kagin 2) were struck in native California gold. Donald Kagin suggested that the Kagin-1 coins were struck with a collar, after which the obverse and reverse dies were transported to California, where the Kagin-2 coins were struck without a collar. These latter coins had the characteristic of weak lettering in CALIFORNIA, being struck on a constricted planchet.

The present example is clearly coined in native California green-gold (containing considerable silver in its alloy), but is an example of Kagin 1 with complete lettering and full border details. This is an amazing example, virtually Mint State, with extraordinary eye appeal and color. The surfaces have brilliant greenish gold color with nearly full luster. This example, which we believe should have been graded fully Mint State, is easily among the finest known of the type. Listed on page 300 of the 2005 Guide Book.
From The Great Western Collection of Territorial Gold.(#10236) (NGC ID# 2BBD, PCGS# 10236)

View all of [The Great Western Collection of Territorial Gold ]

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Auction Dates
July, 2005
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