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1860 Mormon Five Dollar, K-6, MS61
Culturally and Numismatically Significant

1860 $5 Mormon Five Dollar MS61 NGC. K-6, High R.5. In 1860, a full decade after the previous issues of Mormon gold, further five-dollar pieces were issued bearing a new design. The obverse has a recumbent lion, date 1860 below, and motto HOLINESS TO THE LORD around, this last in the Deseret alphabet. The reverse shows an eagle behind a beehive, DESERET ASSAY OFFICE PURE GOLD / 5 D. around, all in the Latin alphabet. The 1860 Mormon five dollar pieces are important not only numismatically but also culturally, since they are among the few 19th century appearances of the Deseret alphabet surviving to the present day.

As was the case with the earlier Mormon money, there was considerable mistrust of the new coins outside the religious community. Donald Kagin's Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States reprints an order posted at Camp Floyd in Utah Territory on January 10, 1860, that reads in part:

"... there is a large amount of gold coins--several thousands of dollars, purported to be worth five dollars, commonly called 'Mormon Coin,' about to be put in circulation ... As this coin is understood to be worth only (about) 4 1/2 dollars, the Commanding Officer recommended to the soldiers not to receive it for more than the sum, and better still, not to take it at all."

Today, of course, the Mormon five dollar pieces of 1860 are highly desirable members of the Territorial gold family. This orange-gold example is luminous and vibrant, though a number of wispy abrasions and a few deeper marks affect each side. Unusually high-grade for the issue. Listed on page 394 of the 2014 Guide Book.
Ex: CSNS Signature (Heritage, 4/2009), lot 2799. (NGC ID# 2BCG, PCGS# 10268)

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Auction Dates
Feb-Mar, 2014
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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