GOLD DOLLAR NGC MS61 Click on Coin Image to
GOLD $1 NGC MS61- $28,950
its population report, NGC shows 10 1855-C gold dollars
in MS61 condition. At PCGS there is 3 in MS61. These
numbers do not account for crossovers or resubmissions.
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The coin is the only Type 2 issued
at the Charlotte Mint. Rare in Uncirculated condition,
the 1855-C dollar is notorious for its weak strikes
and poor quality planchets. Surface preservation is
the most important element in grading this issue.
The present piece has beautiful mixture of greenish
and yellow gold, and it is lustrous with sharp peripheral
design elements. The colors and luster affirm the
coin’s originality. The surfaces are clean for
the grade with no notable abrasion marks or other
The so called Indian Princess Head
gold dollar was designed by James Longacre and minted
from 1854 to 1889. The first, which is actually Type
2 because there was a prior Liberty Head gold dollar,
was issued until 1856. The second Indian Princess
gold dollar, Type 3, was minted from 1856 to 1889.
The Type 2 gold dollar showed a head
of Liberty facing left wearing a stylized feathered
headdress. It is inscribed LIBERTY on the headband.
She is surrounded by the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
The reverse shows an open wreath of corn, cotton,
maple, and tobacco tied below with a bow. The wreath
encircles the denomination, 1 DOLLAR, and the date.
The problem with the coin was that it did not strike
up well. In fact mint state examples looked worn and,
in some cases, so circulated that the date could not
be read on the coin. This problem most affected the
branch mint issues, which Longacre did not get to
see until afterwards. The proofs that he saw did not
have this as a problem. The present coin is an example
of such as branch mint issue.
In the 1790’s gold was accidentally
discovered in North Carolina. The first United States
Gold Rush took place in the early 1800’s in
North Carolina and Georgia. In the area around Charlotte,
North Carolina almost 100 gold mines were in operation.
Second only to farming, prospecting for gold became
the main source of employment in North Carolina. The
most gold produced in the United States came from
North Carolina until 1848, when it was discovered
The gold that was produced at Charlotte
had to be refined and standardized so it would have
commercial value. Private mints like the Bechtler’s
and Templeton Reid’s opened to assay the new
gold and convert it to coinage. In order to standardize
this coinage and because transportation to Philadelphia
was so poor as a result of bandits, unfriendly Indians,
and poor roads, a branch mint in Charlotte was opened
Two years later the first half eagle
was struck. Quarter eagles were minted later in 1838
and gold dollars in 1849. However, no coins were made
in 1845 because there was a fire, and the entire structure
burned to the ground. Its last coinage was in 1861,
twenty-four years after it opened. During the Civil
War, the Charlotte Mint continued coining gold; however,
in October of 1861 the building was converted to a Confederate
army hospital and headquarters. During Reconstruction,
the building was used for offices by federal troops.
In 1867 the Mint became an assay office, which remained
in operation until 1913. During World War I it was used
by the Charlotte’s Woman’s Club and as a
Red Cross station. In 1936 the site was relocated south
of downtown and became the Mint Museum of Art, which
was the first art museum in North Carolina.
All Charlotte Mint coins have the
C mintmark on the reverse except for the first two
years’ quarter and half eagles, which had them
on the obverse between the truncation and the date.All
Charlotte gold coins are scarce.
Much of it is rare, and some is extremely
rare because of a combination of low mintages and
melting overseas. Many coins that were minted before
the Civil War were used to purchase armaments abroad.
Much of this coinage was melted in Europe to make
coins of the realm. Only a tiny fraction of the C
mint coinage survives today.