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    Description

    Lightly Circulated 1849 Miners Bank Ten Dollar
    K-1, R.6, Among the First California Gold Coins

    (1849) $10 Miners Bank Ten Dollar AU55 PCGS. K-1, R.6. K-1, R.6. The Miners Bank gold pieces are among the first California Gold Rush coins produced, but the first evidence of the existence of this firm, or firms, comes from paper currency. Don Kagin's 1981 Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States, page 100, illustrates an example of a one dollar note issued by "The Miner's Bank," dated March 1, 1849, and signed by Stephen A. Wright and Samuel W. Haight. These bills were "presumably emitted in San Francisco" and signed by the men in their capacities as president and cashier, respectively, of the firm. Kagin notes that "whether such notes circulated is debatable."
    The possibility nonetheless exists for the circulation of paper currency of some kind in California; Kagin notes, perceptively, " ... the fact that the Constitution of California had prohibited bank notes in 1849 and again in 1855, suggests that some persons might have gotten their paper into circulation."
    Kagin writes that copper-alloyed ten dollar gold pieces, K-1, were struck in the East with a collar producing normal rims (PCGS calls these Plain Border; the Guide Book calls them Dentelated Border, Raised Rim). The dies were then brought West, where coins with a greater content of silver alloy were produced. These later pieces, K-2, had beveled rims and were struck without a collar, causing the top of the I in CALIFORNIA to appear unfinished and the edge reeding to have a closer, squared-off look. The rims are raised, almost appearing broadstruck (PCGS calls these Crimped Border; the 2011 Guide Book calls them Crimped Border, Crushed Rim).
    This piece is of the first K-1 type, with normal rims and orange-gold coloration caused by the copper alloy; coins with a greater percentage of silver in the alloy will produce a more greenish-gold color. This is an attractive, lightly circulated coin that still boasts a considerable quotient of its original mint luster. The piece is sharply struck, and only minor field chatter appears, mostly on the side with MINERS BANK and TEN D., which we consider the obverse. Listed on page 372 of the 2011 Guide Book. Population: 5 in 55, 5 finer (6/10).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2BBE, PCGS# 10236)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    11th-15th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,787

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