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    Description

    1860 Five Dollar, MS62
    K-6, Final Mormon Gold Issue
    Struck at the Behest of Brigham Young

    1860 $5 Mormon Five Dollar MS62 NGC. K-6, High R.5. The obverse crouching lion and reverse eagle standing stall and proud behind a beehive representative of industry are unique to the 1860 Mormon five dollar gold issue. So too is the obverse legend, written in the Deseret, a 40-character phonetic alphabet established in January 1854 by the Board of Regents at what is now the University of Utah.

    Like the Deseret alphabet itself, Mormon gold coinage was a relatively short-lived experiment. Beginning in 1849, the pioneer-followers of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young began striking their own two and a half, five, ten, and twenty dollar coins minted from California gold dust. As far as we know, production ceased between 1850 and 1859 (no records were kept, and no coins are known), resuming briefly with the issuance of these five dollar gold pieces in 1861 (dies made in 1860). According to Donald Kagin, writing in Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States, "The occasion for the issuance of these pieces was the discovery of gold in Colorado in 1858. The gold dust used for the new coins was from the Colorado mines, purer than the California gold -- .917 fine vs. .890 fine." They were certainly popular in Mormon circles, trading at par despite being taken at a 10-25% discount in other parts of the country.

    There are 80 grading events total for the issue at NGC and PCGS combined, excluding Details coins, suggesting a survivorship of perhaps 60 to 70 pieces extant from a mintage of 472 coins. A considerable majority exist in XF and AU grades. This MS62 representative ranks among the best examples offered in recent years. Both sides are needle-sharp. Bright surfaces display reddish-gold accents. Scattered abrasions are generally small, and the rims are clean. Listed on page 415 of the 2020 Guide Book. (NGC ID# 2BCG, PCGS# 10268)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    14th-18th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 196

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