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1861 $20 Clark, Gruber & Co. Twenty Dollar AU53 PCGS. K-8, High R.5. Of the greatest rarity and importance to collectors of...

2006 August Denver, CO Signature & Platinum Night Auction #414

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 14, 2006
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Denver, CO
Description:
Rare And Important 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. Territorial Gold Double Eagle AU53 PCGS, K-8, High R.5.
1861 $20 Clark, Gruber & Co. Twenty Dollar AU53 PCGS. K-8, High R.5. Of the greatest rarity and importance to collectors of territorial gold. Sharply struck in all areas, except for some of the reverse denticles. Moderate wear is evident, with a goodly portion of the original luster still remaining. The coin is lightly abraded and the surfaces have a rich reddish tint near the borders, accenting the basic green-gold color.
After John Gregory discovered enormous quantities of gold near Central City, in what would later become Colorado, in May of 1859, the Colorado Gold Rush was soon precipitated in earnest. Later that same year, local authorities established their own government, calling the region the "Territory of Jefferson". It was renamed Colorado Territory in 1861.
Just as in California, ten years earlier, gold nuggets and gold dust quickly became the usual medium of exchange. This was impractical for a number of reasons, including variations in purity and the inconvenience of shipping the raw gold back to Philadelphia to be coined.
The partnership of Austin and brother Milton Clark, and Emmanuel Gruber, originating in Kansas, arrived on the local scene in early 1860 and began striking coins in their private mint, in what was then called Denver City, on July 20.
The obverse is very similar to the regular issue United States double eagle, but Liberty's coronet displays PIKES PEAK, rather than LIBERTY. On the reverse, the eagle is a reasonable match for the regular issue coin as well, but the peripheral legends read: CLARK, GRUBER & CO DENVER. Special characteristics include a boldly repunched N in TWENTY and a blundered V in DENVER, punched over a previous N. Listed on page 363 of the 2007 Guide Book.
From The Wyoming Collection. (PCGS# 10142)

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