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March 28, 2014


Click on Coin Image to enlarge

1855-C Gold $1 NGC MS60 - $24,100.

1855-C Gold Dollar - 1855-C Gold $1 NGC MS60. In its population report, NGC shows 3 1855-C gold dollars in MS60 condition. At PCGS there is 1 in MS60. These numbers do not account for crossovers or resubmissions. This Mint State 1855-C Gold Dollar is tied for third finest at NGC and is the second finest known at PCGS.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

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 distractions.

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 in California.

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 in 1836.

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.


Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
Toll Free:
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com


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