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    The Duke's Creek 1861-D Gold Dollar, MS65
    The Rarest D-Mint Dollar
    Top of the Condition Census

    1861-D G$1 MS65 NGC. Ex: Duke's Creek. Variety 12-Q. The only dies of the year. The obverse die is the same as on the 1860-D. On the reverse, the date is small and positioned somewhat to the left.
    The 1861-D is the rarest and most famous gold dollar from this Southern mint. It is also the single most coveted coin from Dahlonega, as it is the only regular issue that was produced entirely by the Confederacy. After the Mint was seized in April 1861, between 1,000 and 1,500 examples were struck by CSA forces. It is unlikely that more than five to six dozen are known today. Interestingly, more of these exist in high grade than one might expect, and there are probably more than a dozen pieces in Uncirculated. Winter writes in the second edition of Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint that "the number of high grade specimens is greater than normal for an issue with this small a mintage, suggesting the existence of a small hoard." It is not at all a stretch of the imagination to suggest that some Confederate officer, or some involved with the production of these fabled coins, kept a handful of souvenirs of what must have been a momentous occasion for those involved: a tangible association in golden metal of the rift that was dividing the fabric of a nation.
    This issue has a distinct appearance that contributes in part to the charm of the 1861-D gold dollar. It is always found with a weak strike on the obverse, and this example is no exception. The UN in UNITED is weak, but actually more distinct than usual. The IC in AMERICA is also weak but, again more fully defined than on nearly any other example of the 1861-D gold dollar we have seen. There is some weakness on the left side of the denticles, diagnostic for the issue. The remarkable reverse probably has the fullest strike we have seen on an 1861-D. The date and mintmark are full, while DOLLAR is complete except for the O, which shows some softness. There are multiple clash marks present--heaviest near the R in DOLLAR. Clash marks can also be seen along the portrait on the obverse but they are not as strong in this area. Some of the field near the left side of the portrait is semireflective, likely a result of mint personnel attempting to remove the clash marks. The surfaces of this coin are quite clean and suggest that it has been carefully preserved since it was produced almost 150 years ago. There is one tiny, shallow tick in the left obverse field and another shallow, unobtrusive mark on Liberty's cheek. These serve as excellent identifiers for future pedigree information. The luster that this piece shows is exceptional. It seems to "drip" off the surfaces and is far above-average for a date that, surprisingly, can be found with good luster. Rich orange-gold color graces the obverse, with some hazel highlights in the center and toward the edge; the reverse is slightly lighter, deepening to an olive hue at the border.
    There are three really great 1861-D gold dollars known: the Duke's Creek coin, the present specimen, graded MS65 by NGC; the Ullmer-Pierce coin graded MS64 by PCGS, currently in an Alabama collection; the Green Pond/Eliasberg coin graded MS63 by PCGS, last sold by Heritage in January 2004.
    We would be not be surprised if this coin, the single finest graded at either service, set an all-time record for a Dahlonega gold coin, given the demand for Condition Census rare coins with great stories.
    This is the plate coin in the first edition of Winter's Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint, 1838-1861.
    Ex: Dr. Philip Weinstein; Tony Terranova; Stack's; Leon Farmer Collection; Hancock and Harwell; The Jeffrey Fisher-Duke's Creek Collection of Dahlonega Gold (Heritage, 6/2006), lot 1493.
    From The Madison Collection.
    (Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 25CV, PCGS# 7559)

    Weight: 1.67 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The Madison Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The marketing was exceptional from the photos to the ads in Civil War Times and North South Trader for the cross over people!!! I have had many emails from my Civil War collecting fraternity that saw these and I saw them at the national show in Nashville/Franklin in early December.
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