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1849 $5 Mormon Five Dollar AU58 NGC. K-2, R.5....

2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction #1151

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Auction Ended On: Jan 6, 2011
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Tampa Convention Center
333 S. Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602

1849 Mormon Half Eagle, AU58, K-2
Historic Issue, One of the Finest Known
1849 $5 Mormon Five Dollar AU58 NGC. K-2, R.5. Soon after the remnants of the Mormon Battalion returned from the Mexican War with a side trip to the gold fields in California, the problem of how to convert their new-found wealth into coin form was solved by none other than Brigham Young. He assigned the task of creating a Mormon mint to John Kay, Thomas Bullock, and A.B. Lambson. The design created for the 1849 coins was symbolic of the Mormon Church itself as well as its desire to live in friendship with its neighbors. Each of the four denominations struck that year showed clasped hands on the obverse with a three-pointed Phyrgian crown over an all-seeing eye of Jehovah on the reverse.
While the Mormon coins were alleged to be struck from pure gold, as attested to by the abbreviation on the obverse: G.S.L.C.P.G., Great Salt Lake City Pure Gold, the findings of Eckfeldt and DuBois did not support this claim: "A parcel made up of all sizes, and counting $562.50, yielded at the mint $479.20; say $8.52 to the ten-dollar piece. The fineness was 886."
Undoubtedly many Mormon gold coins were discounted and melted as a result of Eckfeldt and DuBois' findings, just as many private California minters' coins were. Which is why so few collectors have ever actually seen coins from Cincinnati Mining Company, Dubosq, Pelican, and Pacific Company, among others. An additional factor is that very few Mormon gold pieces were struck in the first place, further adding to their absolute rarity.
This is one of the highest graded examples known of the 1849 five dollar. The surfaces are bright, even yellow-gold. The clasped hands show good detail and the remainder of each side is also well brought up. Close examination with a magnifier shows numerous small handling marks, but none are singularly noteworthy or useful as pedigree identifiers. Census: 9 in 58, 5 finer (11/10). (PCGS# 10262)

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