Description

    (1831-34) C. Bechtler Five Dollar, K-15, AU55
    Gold Content Exceeds Federal Coinage

    (1831-34) $5 C. Bechtler Five Dollar, 150 G. 20C. AU55 PCGS. CAC. K-15, R.7. The earliest Bechtler five dollar gold pieces, struck in the early 1830s, contained 150 grains of 20 carat gold, for a net gold weight of 125 grains of pure gold. The federal half eagles of the early 1830s contained 135 grains of 22 carat gold, for a net gold weight of 123.75 grains of pure gold. The Bechtler pieces were actually produced to a higher standard than federal issues of the same period. Perhaps that is the reason that local residents of North Carolina and the surrounding region preferred the Bechtler gold pieces to those of the U.S. government. Local production may have been another reason in the days before the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints opened.
    The Bechtler family immigrated from Germany, arriving in New York about 1829. The elder family statesman was Alt Christoph Bechtler who was born in Baden, Germany, in 1782, and died in 1842. Bechtler and his sons August and Karl, along with a nephew, Christopher, settled in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, where they carried on a jewelry trade. The community is about 70 miles west of Charlotte and about 45 miles southeast of Asheville.
    A considerable issue of gold coinage began about 1831 and continued until the late 1840s. Denominations included one dollar, two and a half dollars, and five dollars, and the inscription identified the source of the gold, North Carolina or Georgia.
    This remarkable Choice AU specimen has brilliant green-gold surfaces with considerable luster and pale rose toning. Minor marks and faint scratches are evident on this piece, as they are on nearly all known survivors. Listed on page 364 of the 2012 Guide Book. Population: 5 in 55, 2 finer (2/12). (NGC ID# 2B9L, PCGS# 10118)


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

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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