Inherited 1860 $1 US Gold Coin

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Sok82, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Sok82

    Sok82 New Member

    I inherited a bunch of coins from my grandparents, and the only one I suspect has any real value is the 1860 $1 gold coin. I know very little about coin collecting, but a great deal about comicbooks, so I'm assuming the trifecta of rarity, condition and market demand is true for coins as well.

    I'm guessing this one is in pretty decent shape, as I've read that the wear typically begins on the cheek, and I can't really see any wear to speak of. Possibly some hairline scratches and scuffs? As far as how well the coin is struck, I have no eye for that or frame of reference to know what "good" looks like.

    I'd appreciate anyone's help in assessing the general grade and estimated value, as well as any pointers on how (or if) to get this preserved/graded by NGC. Their tiered cost structure is a bit of a puzzle to me, and it appears you have to know the general condition/value in order to select the correct grading tier. Any help there would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, and please let me know if you need more/other photos to assess it properly.

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  3. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome to CT!

    OK, this is a start. How many coins did they leave you? Did you pick this one because it's the only gold? (Did you know that if they really "collected", there could be specimens worth much more than that gold piece?)

    I don't collect gold, so I will not advise you on authenticity (yes, there are fakes) or value, but we have many members who will, shortly.

    You may consider taking it to a coin shop to have them submit it for you. Grading will make it easier for you to sell (again, because of the authentication, & the grade will help determine "value") & they will do the submission for you in exchange for a fee.

    We'll be interested to see the other coins. You may want to invest in a "Red Book". They will give you a wealth of info about US coins (& gold), & can be had used for $10 - $15.

    Have fun!
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  4. Sok82

    Sok82 New Member

    They weren't collectors by any means, aside from my grandfather who collected pennies, but that was mainly just pocket change he stored in a 5-gallon jug for most of his life. There were a few baggies of Indian Head pennies, silver quarters, a few silver dollars, mercury dimes and stuff like that. The $1 gold coin was the only one that jumped out at me as potentially valuable beyond just the melt value. I'll check the other coins for key dates, but I vaguely remember looking them up on eBay with my mom years ago and not finding anything special.

    I'm fairly certain the gold coin not a fake, as my grandparents had it for about 50+ years and inherited it themselves from an older relative. That is, unless the counterfeit versions date back further than I assume they do.
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  5. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Well-Known Member

    Hello Steve,
    I am not any kind of grading expert so I'll just stick to the facts.
    Your 1$ gold piece is a Philadelphia mint Indian Princess Large Head type coin minted between 1856-1889. This coin had a regular mintage total of 36,514 & only 154 minted in Proof ( i.e.specially minted for collectors, off polished dies).
    I don't believe yours to be a proof coin, but would recommend 3rd party grading, to be sure of exactly what you do have.
    The current values for your '1$ Princess' range from $275 in Almost Uncirculated
    (AU) condition to $1250.00 in Mint State 63 (MS-63).
    You perhaps know all this, but it would be remiss of me not to stress, DO NOT CLEAN as this diminishes the coins value drastically.
    IMHO, You have a great example of this Pre-Civil war coinage.
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  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Yes, they do go back that far. Of course, this isn't to say that your coin is counterfeit -- I'm not an expert on these myself -- but we can't rule it out just based on that provenance.

    Here's a post that goes into more detail on how prevalent the fakes have been, and why anyone would make a fake gold coin out of real gold.

    Welcome to CoinTalk!
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  7. Sok82

    Sok82 New Member

    Thanks, JT - I definitely will not clean it, although I have no way of knowing if anyone has cleaned it in the past. I really appreciate the information! 36,514 doesn't seem like a large mintage, but what do I know, maybe that's typical ?? I'd imagine a lot of these got lost due to their size and how thin they are. It doesn't seem like a very practical coin. Even with the extra weight of the gold, you can barely tell you're holding it.

    Does NGC have a grading census like CGC does for comic books? Is there a way of knowing how many of each grade exist?
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  8. Sok82

    Sok82 New Member

    Well now I'm worried it's a fake, but thanks for the information. I'll definitely take it to a coin shop to have it looked at by an expert.
  9. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer Numismatic Enthusiast

    I would get a first and second opinion, and if they differ, maybe a third.
    Evan Saltis likes this.
  10. Sok82

    Sok82 New Member

    I just got back from a local coin dealer, and he seems to think it's authentic. He said it has a die clash and some lines that he believes were on the planchet, not caused after production. He and another guy in the shop said it wouldn't be worth grading, and would get an AU grade.
  11. Rheingold

    Rheingold Well-Known Member

    This nice little coin is definitely genuine.
    Don't worry...that's a good one for sure.
    Send it in for third party grading. Good luck!
    Sok82 likes this.
  12. Sok82

    Sok82 New Member

    Just curious - how can you tell?
  13. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    It's often easier to explain why something is fake rather than why something is real.

    Some people have years of experience and a good idea for detail and are able to tell pretty conclusively from sight alone.

    For example, I can pick out fake Buffet clarinets from a mile away, because I've seen LOTS and know exactly what to look for.
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  14. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Well-Known Member

    Hi Steve,
    Glad you found some of my info helpful & good news concerning your visit to the local coin shop.
    I should have included the prescribed weight of these small gold pieces in case you have access to a sensitive scale (1.672 grams is for an uncirculated specimen.)
    Mintage figures for these little jewels are not huge in comparison to many U.S. coins, but the figure I quoted for the 1860-P is ‘medium-high’ for this 1$ series.
    I agree, IMO this example looks to be AU at very least.
    It definitely is worth getting it graded.
    Good luck & Welcome to the Coin Talk site.
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  15. furham

    furham Good Ole Boy

    There has only been a total of 166 graded by NGC with the average grade of MS61/62.
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  16. Rheingold

    Rheingold Well-Known Member

    Well, the color is excellent, the dentils and details are very clear. Like to expect from an original coin.
    What do you think? That' s your favourite series.;)
  17. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    It seems to be authentic. I’d grade it AU55/58. Nice coin, but the pics are terrible ;-)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  18. Rheingold

    Rheingold Well-Known Member

    Where do you see wear, mic?
    I like it at the MS62 level....
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  19. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted


    Left field, Liberty’s face and hair. It could still grade MS62, but it shows wear though.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  20. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    @micbraun is dead on. It is a very high AU, but it is AU. I would bet my bottom dollar on the authenticity, though there are some very convincing counterfeits out there. Thing is, die clashes are incredibly common on these. I own six and four of those have die clashes. While I would credit the counterfeiters with creating convincing fakes, I rather doubt they would include a die clash.
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  21. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Looks to be a genuine strong AU, About Uncirculated, gold coin. I see nothing that shouts fake to me. Gold coins in general are faked as an FYI.

    You need to invest in the Red Book by RS Yeoman, about $15.00. If would be worth it for you to research what was left to you. Please reread thd first reply by @PlanoSteve. He is dead on his that reply. Start new threads and post photos.

    Best wishes and welcome to CT.
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