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1860 Mormon Five Dollar, K-6, AU55+
Artifact of American Religious History

1860 $5 Mormon Five Dollar AU55+ NGC. K-6, High R.5. An essential theme of U.S. history is the establishment of new settlements for practicing religion without outside hindrance or persecution. Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620, is well-known for its association with the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, though not all aboard the Mayflower traveled to North America for religious freedom. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams after his exile from Massachusetts, and the colony took in other religious outcasts, such as Anne Hutchinson and her followers.
In that spirit, as well as the early- to mid-19th century expansion of utopian socioreligious communities such as New Harmony, Indiana, the followers of Joseph Smith, Jr., sought a place to settle and practice their religious tradition, Mormonism. After its founding in upstate New York and subsequent move to an existing town in northern Ohio, the movement under Smith's direction sought to create a settlement in Missouri, which was unsuccessful, and later bought a small town across the Mississippi River in Illinois, which was renamed Nauvoo. Within a few years, Smith was dead, killed by a mob, and his most prominent successor, Brigham Young, led the way to the site for a new settlement more than a thousand miles away, where Salt Lake City now stands in present-day Utah.
The Mormon pioneers traveled more than a thousand miles from Nauvoo to the Great Salt Lake, and the settlement had a need for circulating currency, for much of the "hard money" held by the Mormons had gone to buy supplies. Two periods of Mormon gold coinage took place when an influx of mined gold arrived in the settlement. The first period includes coins dated 1849 and 1850, made from California gold brought by Mormons who had been among the first miners in the gold rush. The second period includes a single issue of five dollar coins dated 1860. Coins from both periods include Mormon religious iconography, and on the 1860 five dollar coins, the motto HOLINESS TO THE LORD appears in the Deseret alphabet, a further assertion of Mormon identity at a time temporal power in Utah was tilting away from them.
This AU55+ example of the 1860 Mormon five dollar is surprisingly radiant with tiny reflective pockets in protected areas around the Deseret letters. Modestly worn, it also has a number of abrasions through the fields and several reverse rim nicks over the eagle's head, testimony to at least brief use in circulation. An important artifact of America's religious history. Listed on page 381 of the 2012 Guide Book. (NGC ID# 2BCG, PCGS# 10268)

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Auction Dates
April, 2012
18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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