Condition Census Gem 1860 Clark, Gruber & Co. Five Dollar1860 $5 Clark, Gruber & Co. Five Dollar MS65 NGC. K-2, R.4. This extraordinary Gem survivor displays shimmering, virtually unmarked surfaces with characteristic green-gold color on the obverse that combines with appealing reddish-orange accents on the reverse. The strike is exceptionally bold with nearly complete details noted on the hair around the ear, the eagle's neck, breast and leg feathers, and the shield. Not only is this impeccably preserved territorial the finest of its type we have ever offered, it is almost certainly among the finest in existence.
What had started out as a small wholesale business in Leavenworth, Kansas would eventually expand to form the foundation of Colorado's commercial history. As grocers, the brothers Austin M. Clark and Milton Edward were already providing food and other stores to the miners that traversed eastern Kansas on their way to Colorado. In March of 1858, as the Colorado Gold Rush expanded, the brothers founded a banking practice with Emanuel Henry Gruber. Even though Clark, Gruber & Co. became one of the largest buyers of gold dust in the Colorado Territory, they had to ship it back to the states to have it coined into money. This expensive and time consuming process eventually led the firm's founders to establish their own mint. In December, 1859 the firm purchased the necessary machinery, dies, and furnishings for its mint and on July 20, 1860 the new Clark, Gruber & Co. Mint opened for business in Denver. Over the next two years, the mint ran almost constantly and soon became known for its integrity and high quality coins.
The firm struck its first half eagles in 1860 from unalloyed Pike's Peak gold. Since this gold was among the purest mined in North America up to that time, these coins were easily abraded with a minimal amount of mishandling. The firm remedied this problem by alloying their gold with copper for the 1861 strikings. Census: 1 in 65, 0 finer (11/05). Listed on page 362 of the 2006 Guide Book.
From The Great Western Collection of Territorial Gold, Part Two. (NGC ID# ANJZ, PCGS# 10136)
View all of [The Great Western Collection of Territorial Gold, Part Two ]
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