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Startlingly Original 1850 Mormon Five Dollar, AU58

1850 $5 Mormon Five Dollar AU58 NGC. K-5, High R.5. The Mormon coinage began in late 1848 with ten dollar gold pieces dated 1849, today designated K-3, and continued in 1849 with two and a half dollar (K-1), five dollar (K-2), and twenty dollar (K-4) pieces. The two and a half dollar pieces met widespread acceptance, and then a large mintage of five dollar coins followed, according to a later report in the Salt Lake Tribune. The twenty dollar made in 1849 bear the distinction of being the first twenty dollar pieces made in the United States, antedating the federal pieces of 1850 by a few months. Presumably, the ten dollar coins made in 1848 were also produced in 1849 with the same 1848-dated dies.
The Mormon gold coinage began to be discredited in Jacob Eckfeldt and William E. Dubois' New Varieties of Gold and Silver Coins, published in 1850, which stated that "The Mormon coins have just been received, ... In fineness they are about .899 thous., with little variation; and they contain only the native silver alloy. The weights are more irregular, and the values very deficient. ..." Throughout 1850 the Mormon coinage was accepted only at a large discount, but despite this there were new 1850-dated five dollar pieces struck, likely sometime in the spring of that year.
The 1850-dated five dollar coins show a general resemblance to the 1849 two and a half, but there are key differences as well:
--The Phrygian cap and all-seeing eye of the 1849 pieces have been changed slightly. Now the all-seeing eye, differently shaped, is topped with a halo and a three-pointed crown above.
--There are nine stars encircling the crown and eye on the 1850-dated pieces.
--The 1849 pieces read HOLINESS. TO. THE. LORD, with periods. While the 1850 coins read the same, they lack the periods in the legend.
--The 1850 coin reads FIVE DOLLARS on the (dated) side with clasped hands that is generally considered the obverse. The clasped hands are designed differently from the 1849 pieces, with cuffed wrists that show a regular ornamentation.
This is a startlingly original coin with problem-free surfaces that are highly lustrous and tinged with lilac and amber hues. There are few abrasions of any note, and most of the original mint luster is still present. Of the 23 pieces of this issue graded at NGC, this is one of three AU58 pieces, with four coins finer; PCGS has certified 66 pieces, of which this is the sole AU58, and there is one coin, an MS61, finer (7/07). Listed on page 365 of the 2008 Guide Book. (NGC ID# 2BCF, PCGS# 10265)

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Auction Dates
August, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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