Presentation on theme: "US Gold Coin Types from 1849 to 1933 Intended for circulation by Arno Safran."— Presentation transcript:
US Gold Coin Types from 1849 to 1933 Intended for circulation by Arno Safran
With discoveries of gold deposits at Sutter Mill along the American River near Sacramento, CA in 1848 and the subsequent gold rush, silver coins rose above face value, the Government decided to authorize the striking of a $1.00 and $20.00 denomination in 1849. The 1849 Coronet stylized Liberty Head $1.00 gold piece was designed by James Barton Longacre.
The $1.00 gold coin was the first Federal US coin to show the date on the reverse. The 1849 $1.00 gold piece showing the closed wreath graded MS-61 by NGC.
. Reverses of the 1849 gold dollar showing the open wreath (scarcer) and closed wreath (more common). While only one $20 gold piece was struck in 1849, (and it resides at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.), some 688,567 $1.00 gold coins were coined at the Philadelphia Mint alone and are collectible in two varieties, the open wreath and closed wreath.
In 1854 the new Mint Director James Ross Snowden replaced Robert Maskell Patterson and decided to improve some of our coinage. The $1.00 gold coin was enlarged from 12.7 mm to 14.3 mm and the planchet reduced in thickness proportionally. The 1849 Type 1 and 1854 Type 2 $1.00 gold pieces side by side.
The 1854 Type 2 $1.00 gold is not rare. The mintage was 783,943. The strong demand as a three year type keeps the cost high. For that reason, AU-58 appears to be the grade of choice but many certified AU-58 specimens are overgraded and undesirable. That is why one must grade the coin before you buy the slab. An 1854 $1.00 gold Type 2 graded AU-58 by NGC. This was the nicest of thirty specimens seen at the FUN Show.
Many of the Type II dollars issued in 1854, 55 & 56-S had problems. The dates struck up unevenly with occasional blurred images. The result was a new larger, broader head type first issued in 1856. An 1856 Type 3 Gold dollar graded MS-61 by NGC. With $1.00 gold coins, I have found MS-61s surprisingly attractive.
The total P Mint mintage of the 1856 $1.00 gold piece was 1,762, 936. Like the large cent, two different punches were used to make the 5 in the 1856 gold dollars; an upright 5 (scarce) and slanted 5 (common ) An 1856 upright 5 gold $1.00 graded MS-61 by NGC. It may be underrated variety as only an estimated 33,660 were minted.
The two 1856 gold $1.00 reverses showing slanted 5 and upright 5.
Unlike the gold dollar denomination, the $2.50 Quarter Eagle Liberty type (1840-1907) remained ostensibly the same. The obverse was designed by Christian Gobrecht, the reverse by John Reich. An 1879 Liberty $2.50, grading AU-58 by PCGS. The mintage for this Philadelphia Mint issue was 89,960 but the date isnt particularly scarce, let alone rare.
Perhaps the most unusual gold denomination is the $3.00 gold piece. Its diameter was 20.5 mm and was authorized to ease the purchase of one hundred 3¢ postage stamps. An 1878 $3.00 gold piece graded AU-58 by NGC. With a mintage of 82,304, this is the second most common. Most dates are in the low four figures and are rare.
The Gobrecht designed Liberty $5.00 Half eagle was issued from 1839 through 1908 with the Philadelphia mint issues being the most common. During its long run, the diameter was reduced from 22.5 mm (1839- 40) to 20.5 mm (1840 to 1908) There were two major varieties, the no motto above eagle (1839-1866) and the with motto, IN GOD WE TRUST (1866-1908). As $5.00 had a lot of spending power during the 19 th Century, this denomination was among the most used of our gold series which is why many of the dates before 1878 are fairly expensive in the higher grades (AU-MS-65).
The 1908 Liberty $5.00 Gold piece had a mintage of 421,874. This specimen was graded MS-62 by NGC yet despite its nice original color, it has a number of surface blemishes. It sells for a fraction of what an MS-63 or higher graded specimens would cost today.
After a hiatus of some 34 years in which the $10 Eagle was suspended, it was resurrected in 1838 with the same Gobrecht Coronet Liberty obverse and John Reich eagle reverse as seen on the $2.50 and $5.00 gold coins. Like its $5.00 counterpart, the motto IN GOD WE Trust was placed above the eagle beginning with the 1866 dated issues. Affordable prices begin with the 1874 issue.
Like the 1908 $5.00 Liberty, the 1907 $10.00 Eagle is a transitional date as a new design type was introduced later the same year. A 1907 $10 gold Liberty graded MS-62 by NGC; a nice specimen for the grade and not costly. The mintage was 1,203,899.
The resplendent $20 Gold Liberty A 1907 Coronet Type 3 $20.00 gold Double eagle graded MS-63 by NGC. The mintage was 1,451,786. The obverses of these larger coins tended to receive more surface scrapes than the reverses. MS-64s have far fewer scuff marks but they are quite expensive.
Between 1850 and 1907 Longacres Coronet Liberty with ornate Shield reverse adorned the $20.00 Double Eagle. During that time frame, three minor reverse modifications occurred; the no motto with Twenty D., the with motto with Twenty D. and the with motto with TWENTY DOLLARS. From 1877 on dates tend to become less expensive.
President Theodore Roosevelt (1901- 1909) was dissatisfied with our coinage designs and consulted with the noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens on ways to imbue our coins with fine art and functionality at the same time. The result was the beautiful Striding Liberty Double Eagle introduced in 1907, (the final year of the Liberty design). The new coin was struck first in high relief with Roman numerals and later that year with Arabic numerals in lower relief. The latter version is easily the more affordable and accessible.
Saint-Gaudens Striding Liberty A 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Piece graded MS-62 by NGC; a better than average specimen for this grade. The mintage was 361,667.
Saint-Gaudens also prepared the new Indian Headdress design for the $10 Eagle. A 1907 $10 Eagle. 239,406 were minted. This specimen was graded MS-61 by NGC and is remarkably free of blemishes.
Saint-Gaudens died later in 1907 but he had many students and admirers who continued his tradition. One of them was Bela Lyon Pratt who redesigned the $5.00 & $2.50 gold pieces. The 1908 incuse Indian head $5.00 design of Bela Lyon Pratt in its first year of issue. 577,845 were minted in Philadelphia. This one was graded MS-61 by IGC and was the sharpest of those seen in that grade.
The Indian $2.50 quarter Eagle was struck from 1908 until 1929. A 1926 Indian $2½ Quarter eagle; one of the many common dates with a mintage of 446,000. This specimen was graded MS-61 by NGC and was acquired at the SCNA Convention.
The transition from the 19 th to the 20 th Century style gold pieces provided three transitional dates; 1907 for the $10 & $20 and 1908 for the $5.00 The 1908 $5.00 Liberty and Indian Head obverses
In 1908, over President Roosevelts objections, the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on the $10.00 and $20.00 gold pieces. A 1909-S $20.00 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle showing the motto on the reverse above the sun.
The Saint Gaudens $20 reverses; At left, a1907 no motto and at right, 1909-S with motto.
A basic Liberty Gold set From $1.00 to $20 Gold Liberty
A Liberty Gold Obverse Type Set featuring the three $1 types
A Liberty Gold Reverse Type Set featuring the three $1.00 types
Purchasing Power Then & Now Then Now Then Now $1.00 in 1854 would be worth $25.00. $1.00 in 1854 would be worth $25.00. $2.50 in 1879 would be worth $53.00. $2.50 in 1879 would be worth $53.00. $2.50 in 1926 would be worth $30.00. $2.50 in 1926 would be worth $30.00. $3.00 in 1878 would be worth $65.00. $3.00 in 1878 would be worth $65.00. $5.00 in 1908 would be worth $115.00. $5.00 in 1908 would be worth $115.00. $10.00 in 1907 would be worth $222.00. $20.00 in 1907 would be worth $445.00.
A Basic set of 20 th Century Gold obverses From $2.50 to $20.00
A basic set of 20 th Century gold reverses From $2.50 to $20.00
A basic 20 th Century gold Type Set $2.50 $5.00 $10.00 $20.00
Gold has always been a special commodity and on coins the yellow metal brings out the best in the engravers art The End
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