Featured A History of the Charlotte Mint, Part 1

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by johnmilton, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Many numismatic writers have labeled the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints as "twins" because the facilities had so much in common. For example, both mints were established for the same purpose, to convert the bullion taken from the southern gold fields into United States coins. Both mints were built from the same plans drawn up by architect, William Strickland. They shared the same dates of operation from 1838 until the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. Each mint had similar mintages during that 24 year period, and both mints faced similar technical problems which gave their products distinctive appearances that set them apart from their Philadelphia Mint counterparts. Finally coin collectors regard the surviving examples of the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mint products as rare and exotic collectors' items. There is a romantic aura around them which often draws attention, even from those who do not specialize in southern gold.

    In contrast, the two mints had a number of differences. First and foremost, the town of Charlotte and the communities surrounding it were more settled and economically developed than the Dahlonega area. That made it easier to deliver the building materials and mint equipment to the Charlotte construction site than the Dahlonega location. There was also a larger pool of experienced construction workers available to build the mint. Poor supervision plus an inexperienced construction crew resulted in serious structural defects at the Dahlonega facility. Philadelphia Mint technical adviser, Franklin Peale, noted this in his reports when he inspected both mints. Finally many collectors have noted that it is harder to find high grade (AU or higher) examples of Charlotte coinage than Dahlonega pieces. This indicates that citizens of Charlotte used their gold coins more extensively for commerce than the citizens of Dahlonega did. Given their relatively higher grades, it appears that many Dahlonega coins were stored in banks or in company or family hoards.

    These factors note some little known differences between the history of the two mints, and another of those differences began with the dates of the first recorded gold discoveries in the two areas. In Georgia it began in 1828 when Bennie Parks stepped on a large gold nugget while he was deer hunting in the woods. In North Carolina it began with a babysitter.

    In 1799 twelve year old Conrad Reid found a heavy, yellow rock in a creek bed on his family's farm, while he was looking after his two younger siblings. The rock was about the size of a shoe and weighed 17 pounds. Conrad's father, John, took the piece to a silversmith in a nearby town. The silversmith, never thinking that it was gold, could not say what kind of metal it was.

    For the next three years the rock served as a doorstop in the Reid family home. In 1802 John Reid took the piece to a jeweler in nearby Fayetteville who immediately identified the piece as gold. The jeweler asked Reid to leave the piece with him so that he could flux it. A short time later Reid returned to find that the rock had yielded a large gold bar that was six or eight inches long. Reid decided to ask "a big price" for the piece, $3.50.

    Sometime later Reid learned that the bar was really worth $3,500 (The value may have increased with repeated renditions of the story.), and sought to obtain an additional payment from the jeweler. The outcome of that negotiation is not known, but Reid's discovery prompted him to prospect for more gold on the family farm.

    Reid found that Meadow Creek, where Conrad had found the first nugget, was rich with gold and had many placer deposits. Reid expanded his gold operation to mining. In 1831 he discovered "the mother lode," a vein of gold that would make his business one of the most successful and famous mining operations in the southeast. Reid, who had come to The United States as a hired Hessian soldier during the Revolutionary War, would die a wealthy man in 1845.

    The Reid mine was only one of many gold operations in the southern states. Over time additional discoveries were made from Virginia to Alabama, but the principle gold region was in Northern Georgia and western North Carolina.

    Although discovering gold was a wonderful thing, those who found it could only make the most of their diggings after they had fluxed their gold and turned it into pure gold bars or preferably coins. The trouble was the only Federal mint was in far off Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and transporting the gold there was expensive, time consuming and dangerous. It could take as long as three months for a prospector to travel to Philadelphia, deposit the gold at the mint, wait for it to be turned into coins and return home to North Carolina. In addition to the time and expense, the journey was also dangerous with robbers and "wild Indians" posing threats along the route.

    C Bechtler Dol 2 O.jpg c Bechtler Dol 2 R.jpg

    A Bechrler Gold Dollar from early 1830s


    In 1831 the Bechtler family of Rutherford, North Carolina opened a private mint to convert the southern gold into coins. Although their coins gained a strong reputation for purity and accurate weights, their products did not have the prestige of the Federal Mint pieces. This prompted the residents of the southern gold fields to lobby for at least one Federal mint in their area. Before that could occur, however, the U.S. Government had to address two basic issues. First, a new, modern Philadelphia Mint was opened on January 1, 1833. Second, the content of the U.S. gold coinage, which had been set too high by the Coinage Act of 1792, was reduced to levels where the coins could circulate in the domestic economy. Previously almost all U.S. gold coins, which had a bullion content that exceeded their face value, had been exported to Europe and melted.

    Finally in 1835 Congress authorized three branch mints in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dahlonega, Georgia and New Orleans, Louisiana. The production at the Charlotte and Dahlonega branches was limited to gold coins only, and the New Orleans facility was authorized to produce gold and silver coinage from the influx of foreign coins that come into that important international port city.

    The building of the Charlotte Mint began with the appointment Major Samuel McComb as the commissioner in charge of the construction of the mint facility. McComb was a very prominent citizen in the Charlotte area. He was active in local politics and had extensive land holdings in the area. More importantly McComb owned and operated a gold mine and ore processing facility that was located just outside of Charlotte.

    In an effort "to hit the ground running" McComb traveled to Philadelphia to meet with the mint director and took an extensive tour of the mint to gain first handle knowledge about how it operated and what the requirements were for a branch mint operation. On his journey home McComb stopped in Washington, DC to meet with treasury secretary, Levi Woodbury. When McComb arrived back in Charlotte to purchase the mint site and begin to build the facility, he was well prepared to bring the construction of the Charlotte Mint to a successful conclusion. When the Philadelphia mint's chief technical advisor, Franklin Peale, inspected the Charlotte Mint in the fall of 1837, he found that only a few minor adjustments were needed to get the facility up and running.

    As it was with the Dahlonega Mint, the coin presses that were installed at Charlotte Mint were smaller versions of the Philadelphia Mint machines. This limited the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints to the production of coins that were no larger than the half eagle or five dollar gold piece. It was thought that this would prevent the southern mints from making ten dollar gold coins which were thought to be prone to export to foreign countries. The intent was to keep the southern mint coins at home where U.S. citizens could use them.

    This was consistent with President Andrew Jackson's monetary policy. Jackson believed that he could bring economic stability and prosperity to yeoman farmers and the working class if large numbers of low denomination gold coins were generally available. Jackson abhorred paper money and hoped that the gold coins would drive much of it out of circulation.

    1838-C half eagle ME2 O.jpg 1838-C half eagle ME2 R.jpg



    The Charlotte Mint accepted the first deposits of gold for coinage in December 1837 and produced its first run of coins, which were five dollar gold pieces, on March 27, 1838. The local paper, the Charlotte Journal proudly announced that its editor had seen and handled "the yellow boys" and that the appearance of the coins was "very neat" and "much resembled the coins issued (by the Philadelphia Mint) in 1834" except for "the letter C under the head (of Ms. Liberty) to distinguish the coin from the different branches."

    These first Charlotte Mint coins were Classic Head five dollar gold pieces with the buxom bust of Ms. Liberty on the obverse. From a mintage of 17,179, Southern gold expert, gold specialist, Doug Winter, has estimated that there are 200 to 250 surviving examples of the 1838-C five dollar gold in the collectable grades. Although the 1838-C half eagle is not a rare coin by Charlotte Mint standards, it is very difficult to find attractive examples of this piece. Many 1838-C half eagles have been cleaned and show extensive marks and abrasions. It is much more difficult to find an attractive example of the 1838-C half eagle than it is to locate a similarly nice 1838-D five dollar gold coin.

    1838C$250O.JPG
    1838C$250R.JPG

    Later in 1838 the Charlotte Mint issued its first quarter eagles. These pieces also carried the Classic Head design and had the "C" mint mark above the date. Although the mintage was only 7,880 pieces with an estimated survival of 150 to 200 coins, I have found this coin easier to locate in attractive condition. Interestingly these quarter eagles are more sharply struck than some of their Philadelphia Mint counterparts.

    1839-C half eagle H O.jpg 1839-C half eagle H R.jpg


    Christian Gobrecht introduced his Coronet design to the half eagle half way through 1839. During the first part of the year only the Classic Head quarter eagle dies were available, which limited the Charlotte Mint's output to those coins. Later the half eagle dies were shipped from Philadelphia. For that year only the "C" mint mark appeared on the obverse above the date. In all of the later years the mint mark would be on the reverse below the eagle. The 1839-C half eagle is a scarce and much desired one year type coin. Doug Winter has estimated that the total collectable 1839-C half eagles to be from 150 to 200 pieces.

    The much coveted position of Mint Superintendent was awarded on a political basis. When the mint opened in 1837 Democratic president, Martin Van Buren, appointed John H. Wheeler as the Charlotte Mint superintendent and treasurer. After Whig Party won the 1840 presidential election, Burgess S. Gaither replaced Wheeler. Gaither's tenure as superintendent would be short, and his relatively rapid departure may have resulted in a significant event that would forever change the physical layout of the Charlotte Mint.


    To be continued
     
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  3. Ike Skywalker

    Ike Skywalker Well-Known Member

    We’re in for another treat. Excellent! Thanks for sharing these “histories” with us.;)
     
  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    What a splendid educational post. Being a southerner I have a Charlotte mint half eagle on my future wish list. Looking forward to chapter two.
     
  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    WHH 1840-14 O.jpg

    An 1840 William Henry Harrison Presidential Campaign Medalet.


    After Whig Party candidate, William Henry Harrison, won the 1840 presidential election, Charlotte Mint superintendent, John H. Wheeler, knew that he would soon be out of a job. Democratic president, Martin Van Buren, had appointed him, and as was the custom in those days, "To the victor goes the spoils." Wheeler got a short reprieve when Harrison died after only a month in office, but Harrison's vice presidential running mate and successor, John Tyler, replaced him with Burgess S. Gaither in July 1841.

    John Tyler proved to be more of a Thomas Jefferson Democrat than a Henry Clay Whig. After Tyler twice vetoed the bill that would have granted another charter to The Bank of the United States, which was the major plank in the Whig Party platform, all but one of the members of his cabinet resigned in protest. Tyler further antagonized the northern wing of the Whig Party when he advocated the admission of Texas as a state. That move virtually insured a war with Mexico, and opened another testy debate over the numerical balance between free and slave states. During this period many Whigs below the cabinet level either resigned their posts or were asked to leave. Charlotte Mint superintendent, Burgess Gaither, was one of them although it is not known if Gaither resigned or was fired. His replacement was Green Washington Caldwell who took office on January 13, 1844.

    One person who was upset by the loss of Gaither's position at the mint was his African-American slave, Calvin. It was alleged that Calvin had said, "The mint would soon be in ashes," after Gaither left office. In the early morning hours of July 27, 1844, a fire broke out at the Charlotte Mint. For reasons unknown water from the tank on the roof of the building that fed the boiler in the basement was not used to douse the flames immediately. Ultimately the fire destroyed the mint building and almost all of the machinery.

    An early group of suspects was a group of students who had been seen smoking "segars" in the vicinity of the mint. Mint workers who had been in the area after students had left testified that they had not seen any suspicious smoking materials. Next suspicions turned to Calvin who did not have a good alibi for where he had been during the time of the blaze. It was noted that a trapdoor on the roof of the mint had been left unlocked, and superintendent Green W. Caldwell testified that a great deal of money and other valuables were missing from his quarters in the mint building. Ultimately the judge chose not to hand down an indictment, and the case went officially unsolved. Caldwell continued to place the blame on Calvin despite the fact that the superintendent had not been at the mint at the time of the fire.

    Polk1844O.JPG

    This rare 1844 Polk presidential campaign medalet referrs to him as, "young hickory."
    The slogan, "Enlarge the boundaries of freedom ... press onward," referrs the concempt of "manifest destiny." The idea was that The United States should become an empire that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific. One result was the Mexican War, which remains controversal to this day.


    Fortunately for the citizens of the Charlotte area James K. Polk was elected president in 1844. Polk was a disciple of former president Andrew Jackson and shared Jackson's views on the monetary system and the need for large numbers of small denomination gold coins in circulation. Polk's nickname was "Young Hickory" which was derived from Jackson's pet name, "Old Hickory." Polk's presidential opponent, Henry Clay, had voted against the establishment of the branch mints when he had been a senator. It is almost certain that Clay would not have approved the rebuilding of the Charlotte Mint if he had been elected president.

    Mint superintendent Caldwell took charge of the reconstruction project. Caldwell determined that the new building and equipment did not have to be as large as first facility had been. Although the new mint was built on the same "T" shaped foundation as the first building, there was only one story above the basement instead of two, and the number of coin presses was reduced from two to one. Overall the cost of the entire facility was $26,572.97 which was well below the budget of $35,000 and almost $30,000 less than the original building had cost. None of these cost savings affected the operation of the mint. The Charlotte Mint resumed production in 1846 after not issuing any coins in 1845.

    The concept of issuing silver coins from the Charlotte Mint had been discussed from the time the facility had opened in 1838. Silver was a by-product of the gold refinement process. To some it seemed logical that the silver coins could be struck at Charlotte rather than shipping the silver bars that were produced there to the Philadelphia Mint. In the 1840s proposals to produce silver coins at Charlotte were introduced, but none of them were approved by both houses of Congress. In any case production of silver coinage larger than half dimes and dimes might have been difficult because there was some doubt that the Charlotte coin press was large enough to strike quarter dollars.

    1849-C Gold Dol O.jpg 1849-C Gold Dol R.jpg


    In 1849 the Charlotte Mint began to produce the gold dollar. These tiny coins had been authorized by Congress as a way to stretch the limited gold production from the southern goldfields to higher mintages. The idea was to justify the continued existence of the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints.

    The first run of Charlotte gold dollars produced a major rarity, the 1849-C with the Open Wreath reverse. Today only five examples of these coins are known. They range in grade from a piece with Very Fine sharpness with traces of jewelry use to an MS-63. This is the rarest Charlotte Mint coin. Its sister, the 1849-C gold dollar with the Close Wreath, is a scarce in its own right with an estimated population of from 200 to 300 pieces.

    1855-C Gold Doll O.jpg 1855-C Gold Doll R.jpg

    The Charlotte Mint Type II and III gold dollars are among the worst coins the United States Mint System ever issued. All of these coins are poorly struck and unattractive. This 1855-C gold dollar is well above average becaue the reverse is sharp and clear.

    Collectors describe many Charlotte Mint gold dollars as "rustic" in appearance. This is partly due to the less than perfect dies the Philadelphia Mint often sent to the branch mints, but the primary cause was the often crude condition of the planchets upon which the coins were struck. The Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints had a lot of problems with their rollers which were used to flatten the ingots of gold to the thickness of the finished coins. The rolled out ingots were further equalized in thickness by running them through a drawing machine, but the resulting strips of gold were still marred by uneven thicknesses and surface defects. The problem became especially acute with the Type Two and Three gold dollars which were struck on wider and thinner planchets. Numismatists have described these coins as among the poorest made pieces that were ever produced by a U.S. mint.

    In 1854 the U.S. mint system issued the first Three Dollar Gold Pieces. Although the Philadelphia Mint sent a pair of Three Dollar Gold Piece dies to Charlotte, mint officials decided not to strike any of these unusual coins. The three other mints, Dahlonega, New Orleans and Philadelphia did issue a limited number of these coins. There has never been an explanation as why Charlotte omitted these coins from its production run.

    Green W. Caldwell resigned his post as superintendent in 1847 to volunteer to fight in the Mexican War. Green was qualified as both a doctor and a lawyer and entered the Army to serve in the medical corp. Green served under General Zachary Taylor, and arrived in Mexico just after the conclusion of the Battle of Buena Vista. Caldwell was mustered out of the service on July 20, 1848 and returned to the Charlotte area to take up a career on politics. He was defeated in two attempts to win a seat in the House of Representatives, but he was elected to state offices in 1849 and 1851. In 1852 Franklin Pierce was elected President of the United States, and the following year Pierce appointed Caldwell to once more take up the reins of the Charlotte Mint.

    In the early years, Caldwell's tenure was relatively uneventful. In December 1854 there was another fire, but the blaze was quickly contained. The market value of silver bullion that was shipped to Philadelphia increased relative to the price of gold because the influx of the precious yellow metal from California. This resulted in weight reductions for all U.S. silver coins, except the silver dollar. "Sweeps" (gold and silver bearing debris recovered from furnaces, ashes and floors) was shipped to the Philadelphia Mint for processing, and assay coins were sent to the main mint for testing. Business as usual changed abruptly after the results of the 1860 presidential election were known.

    1858-C Quarter Eagle O 3.jpg 1858-C Quarter Eagle R 3.jpg

    Political storm clouds were on the horizon when this 1858-C quarter eagle was issued.

    The election of Abraham Lincoln prompted several southern states to secede from the Union beginning with South Carolina in late December 1860. At first North Carolina was not a hotbed of radicalism, and communications between the Charlotte Mint and the Philadelphia head office were routine during the first quarter of 1861. All of that changed with the firing at Fort Sumter on April 15. After shots were exchanged many moderate southerners, including former vice president, John Breckenridge and General Robert E. Lee chose to side with the Confederacy.

    AL 1860 97 O.jpg

    The election of Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860 quickly brought on the Civil War. This piece, called a ferrotype because the photograph is printed on a thin piece of iron, was among the first political pieces to show actual photos of the candidates.

    In April the Governor of North Carolina sent a detachment of troops to take charge of the mint, which had been the property of "the late U.S. Government." Caldwell asked for a reprieve citing that the soldiers had no idea how to make coins, and there was a considerable amount of bullion on hand that citizens had deposited for coinage. After leading citizens of the town supported Caldwell's petition, the governor relented and allowed the mint to continue operations. Sensing that their local mint would soon be closed, the gold producers stepped up their deposits for coinage.

    North Carolina joined the Confederate States of America on May 20, 1861. The state formally transferred the mint to the Confederate Government on June 27. The last run of Charlotte Mint coins, 877 half eagles, was delivered on May 31. Today it is impossible to distinguish between the 1861 half eagles that were made under the Union and Confederate jurisdictions.

    Green W. Caldwell was incredibly loyal to the mint. He stayed in the superintendent's apartment on the main floor to see that the facility was preserved so that it could once more serve its intended purpose as a mint. Although he asked for a small salary of $25 a month, it is probable that he was never paid. In the mean time the rollers at the mint were used for a short time to roll out copper for percussion caps which were used to fire weapons. Later the basement floor housed navel stores from Norfolk, Virginia.

    Caldwell remained at the mint until the day he died on July 10, 1864. At that time Dr. John H. Gibbon, who had been the mint assayer since the facility had opened in 1837, took up the watch. Gibbon was still at the mint when the war ended in 1865. Gibbon worked with Union officials to re-open the mint, but it was not to be. There was too much animosity toward the South after the war, and Philadelphia Mint Director, James Pollock, opposed the re-opening of all the southern mints.

    In 1867 Congress funded the opening of the Charlotte Mint building as an assay office. In that capacity it received and paid for unparted bars of gold and silver which the facility sent to the Philadelphia Mint. The Charlotte assay office did not refine the bars into gold and silver. It would continue to serve in that capacity until it was closed in 1913 after Congress refused to fund the operation.

    After a refurbishment the mint became a Federal court house and was later used in post office operations. In 1932 it was decided that the old mint building would be dismantled to make way for a new post office and other government facilities. A group of public spirited citizens stepped in and formed a committee to save the building. That group was able to salvage materials from the old mint and have them re-constructed at another location as a project of the Depression era Works Progress Administration (WPA). The building became the Mint Museum of Art, which has since been considerably expanded. Some of the old original walls can still be seen in the re-built structure and there is an impressive group of Charlotte Mint coins on display.

    Epilog

    Throughout its 24 years of operation, from 1838 to 1861, the Charlotte Mint produced 1,205,786 coins. Almost three quarters of those coins were half eagles. Today, roughly 1% of those coins survive. To put these numbers in context, the first United States Mint in Philadelphia, which was not a large operation, produced 1,025,343 coins, including 918,521 large cents in 1794 alone. The estimated survival rate for that early mintage has been estimated to be as high as 4%. Therefore there are probably more U.S. coins dated 1794 than there are Charlotte Mint coins from all its years of operation. Given these mintages and estimated survival rates, it is not surprising that collectors regard any coin from the Charlotte Mint as at least a minor rarity today.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The Charlotte Mint has been moved from its downtown location and converted into an art museum. When I went there, I was disappointed because it looked as if the building had been totally changed. You have to go "around back" to see the original front of the building.

    Charlotte Mint building in the 1920s.

    1920s Charlotte Mint.jpg

    Charlotte Mint Museum front

    Charlotte Mint museum front.jpg

    "Old side" of the building in the back.

    Charlotte Mint Museum.jpg
     
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  7. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    Fantastic, thank you! What a cool area of US numismatic history!
     
  8. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Just an FYI. I merged what was 2 threads into one because for some reason the forum software wasn't allowing me to feature both of them at the same time. Merging solved that problem.
     
  9. Murphy45p

    Murphy45p Member

    Great article! Hey, would you be open to expanding a little on Dahlonega? Amazing coins, what an honor to own these pieces of history and in my opinion, they couldn't be in better hands than yours. The great treasure of this forum is the very knowledgeable collectors such as yourself who are willing to share. Keep up the good work!
     
  10. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Thanks for letting me know. I was concerned that the second one would be lost with the first one in the features.

    It's just as well anyway to have them together. The trouble is you can't have more than 10 photos in one post.
     
  11. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member


    In what way? I have more Dahlonega Mint coins, but most of the history is covered unless you want to read the "Neighborhood Mint” book that was published 20 or so years ago. Whitman also has published an “all mints” Red Book that covers some ground as well.
     
  12. furham

    furham Good Ole Boy Supporter

  13. Murphy45p

    Murphy45p Member

    Never mind, went back again and looked at the title. For some reason I had thought the article was on BOTH mints, but it was specific to Charlotte with background info of Dahlonega thrown in. But hey, if you would be gracious enough to post pictures of those Dahlonega coins, I promise I would love to look at them! Thanks again for taking the time to write this and share part of your wonderful collection!
     
  14. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Okay, here are some more Dahlonega Mint coins.

    The 1850-D gold dollar is one of the tough coins in the set. It was very poorly struck, and almost all examples are unattractive. Have I seen Mint State examples of this coin offered? Yes, but I did not set out to buy a "break the bank" set. This one is an EF-45

    1850-D Gold Dollar O.jpg 1850-D Gold Dollar R.jpg

    The 1851-D gold dollar is one of the easier dates to find. It is the secomd most common date behind the 1849-D. This one has a few too many marks, but the surfaces are original.

    1851-D Gold Dol O.jpg 1851-D Gold Dol R.jpg

    The 1852-D gold dollar falls in the middle ground for rarity. It is rarer than the 1849-D, 1851-D and 1854-D coins, but not up there with the 1850-D and 1854-D coins.

    1852-D Gold Dollar O.jpg 1852-D Gold Dollar R.jpg

    The 1853-D gold dollar is one of the more common dates, but it holds a special place for me. The first gold dollars, and the first Dahlonega coin that I ever saw was an 1853-D gold dollar. I was in the fifth grade at the time, and had only started to collect coins. My mother's cleaning, an African-American, had a small hoard of coins from the mid 1800s that included a few large cents, half dimes and Indian Cents.

    The crown jewels of her holdings was four gold dollars. I could not believe how small they were when I saw them for the first time. The one that stuck in my mind was an 1853 with the "D" mint mark on the reverse. The cleaning lady would not sell her gold coins to me. So I only got to look at it.

    Some time later, I learned that one of the men in town, who was a coin collector who had a lot of gold, according to my father, offered her $50 for one of her gold coins. I'd be willing to bet that was the one. Now $50 might sound like a low offer, but it wasn't in 1959. That was pretty close to the Red Book quote. It was equal to or more than a week's wages for a lot of people.

    At any rate, I never got a chance to buy the coin, and I never saw it again, but it stuck in my head from 60 years ago. I was happy to get this one in AU-58. As the market is currently moving, I paid way too much for it, but it's an outstanding piece. The surfaces are 'unmessed with."

    1853-D AU Dollar O.jpg 1853-D AU Dollar R.jpg

    There are a few more coins, but that's enough for today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  15. Murphy45p

    Murphy45p Member

    Thank you so much! Gorgeous coins. I appreciate your love for the 1853, but that 1852 is a beauty, best struck of the bunch to my eye anyway, not the provenance though. All of them are beautiful, put away coins, no major scratches or wear that would come from regular circulation that I can discern.

    I would consider any of those coins rare, although I know its a relative term.

    My excitement for the day was acquiring a Carson city seated liberty dime and an Oregon trail half commemorative for my 7070 type set. Only a handful left to complete it. I'm doing a little side thing with my type set (haven't tackled the gold yet) including every mint mark also. That will complete two of every mint mark with the exception of the W, the only W I'm including at the moment is the 86 Roosevelt.
     
  16. charlottedude

    charlottedude Novice Collector

    Great history and insight into the political activities that shaped the mint and its operations. Speaking of operations, here's the coin that represented its swan song.
    1861C HE BC1.jpg
     
  17. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The 1861- C half eagle ... a coin I would like add to my collection some day.
     
  18. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    908DD90E-929F-449C-B20A-E5216EB9E2A7.jpeg 9FDF456F-40D3-44EC-ACB8-17FC4081F2D4.jpeg Only one I ever owned. Since sold
     
  19. Edward Luers

    Edward Luers New Member

     
  20. Edward Luers

    Edward Luers New Member

    John,

    Great! Is there a Part 2? If so, where can I get it?

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  21. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    It's up and can't be buried too deeply.
     
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