The Happy Coin was recently thrilled to come into possession of thrilling piece of American Frontier history.
This gold piece, struck in standard 0.900 fine gold, predates the 1854-S $20 Liberty by a year, and represents a fascinating period in California in the heyday of the Gold Rush. It all started at the United States Assay Office
The U.S. Assay Office was the forerunner of what would in 1854 become the San Francisco Mint, which began producing quarter eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles in that year.
This unique and impressive gold coin was produced a year before, between March 1 to Oct. 30, 1853, with a total production of about 2.5 million pieces. Although most would be returned to the mint and melted down to create the postliminary Liberty Head Type 1.
Older, territorial gold $20 coin dies were remade to read "900 THOUS." over the existing "880 THOUS." on the obverse, in accordance with the Mint Act of 1837. This edit results in the '9' showing an unrecognizable jumble at the top left loop, and the first 0 having obvious “horns” atop, from the left and right sides of the underlying '8.'
Graded Mint State 61 by PCGS and subsequently verified by CAC, this is one of the finer examples of this coin we have seen.
If you are interested in this coin or any others in our inventory, please feel free to contact the store.