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Lot
5478

1849 $5 Oregon Exchange Co. Five Dollar AU53 PCGS. K-1, R.5....

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 3, 2012
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders
1,113 page views
Location: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Description:

1849 Oregon Exchange Company Five Dollar
High-Grade AU53 Example of K-1
1849 $5 Oregon Exchange Co. Five Dollar AU53 PCGS. K-1, R.5. The identity of "N. G. & N." (Norris, Gregg & Norris) was a numismatic mystery for a number of years, and an even more confusing array of initials appears on the obverse of the Oregon Exchange Company five dollar gold pieces. Above the beaver (a favorite device for Oregon area private issues, as seen on the North West Company token) are the initials "K.M.T.A.W.R.G.S." and below it are "T.O." Each acronym has its own importance -- and its own mistake.
In the case of the eight-letter acronym, each letter stands for a prominent businessmen of Oregon City, Oregon Territory, who was a founder of the Oregon Exchange Company, issuer of the pieces. The founders are, in order, Kilborn, Magruder, Taylor, Abernathy, Wilson, Rector, Campbell, and Smith; a "G" was used in place of the "C" for Campbell. The "T.O." should have read "O.T." for Oregon Territory as well. Both errors were corrected on the ten dollar Oregon Exchange Company dies, created later.
Unlike other private/territorial issues, the Oregon Exchange Company pieces were not alloyed to a particular standard (see Kagin's Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States) but left as the "NATIVE GOLD" seen on the reverse of the five dollar pieces. This example was struck from yellow-gold with a slight orange cast. Both sides show a number of light abrasions and occasional pinscratches, though the protected areas show traces of reflective luster, thus accounting for the AU53 designation. Listed on page 388 of the 2013 Guide Book. Population: 1 in 53, 3 finer (6/12). (PCGS# 10288)

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