1854 Type Two Gold Dollar, Spectacular MS66
    Rich Color and Sparkling Mint Luster

    1854 G$1 Type Two MS66 PCGS. CAC. "Solve one problem, create another," the old bromide goes, and so it was with the Mint's coinage difficulties of the 1850s. The reduction in net silver content of the minor coinage, signified by the Arrows/Arrows and Rays designs introduced in 1853, managed for the first time since the Mint's founding to provide ample quantities of circulating domestic silver coinage. The gold dollar and double eagle, introduced commercially in 1849 and 1850 respectively, were intended to increase the circulation of gold coins and as new coinage vehicles for the abundance of California gold. The double eagle was popular and circulated well, especially in the West.
    But the diminutive gold dollar had problems. Its small size and weight -- a 13-mm coin weighing only 1.67 gm, about one-eighteenth of a troy ounce -- meant it was easily lost. In 1854 Mint Engraver James B. Longacre attempted a fix via a one dollar gold coin that was 1 mm larger in diameter and proportionally thinner, but the urge to stereotype the design was among the factors that doomed the result. Not only was the size increased, but the Indian Princess motif was introduced to harmonize with the three dollar gold coin, also introduced in 1854. On the one dollar coins, the head of Liberty was in relatively high relief for such a tiny coin, with the high points in the center obverse in direct opposition to the LL in DOLLAR and the 85 in the date on the reverse. Striking difficulties were inevitable. The strike on the reverse shows the near-universal weakness on the 8 in the date and LL in DOLLAR. Each side also displays the usually seen clash marks. However, what is truly spectacular on this piece is the bright, sparkling mint luster and rich reddish-gold and lilac color intermixed over each side.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 25C3, PCGS# 7531)

    Weight: 1.67 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    July, 2012
    12th-15th Thursday-Sunday
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