Gold dollar – Wikipedia

U.S. one-dollar mint ( 1849–1889 )

The gold dollar or gold one-dollar piece is a gold coin that was struck as a unconstipated issue by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1849 to 1889. The mint had three types over its life, all designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre. The Type 1 emergence has the smallest diameter ( 0.5 inch =12.7mm ) of any United States coin minted to date. A gold dollar coin had been proposed several times in the 1830s and 1840s, but was not initially adopted. Congress was finally galvanized into carry through by the increased issue of bullion caused by the California gold rush, and in 1849 authorized a gold dollar. In its early years, eloquent coins were being hoarded or exported, and the gold dollar found a ready place in department of commerce. Silver again circulated after Congress in 1853 required that modern coins of that metallic element be made lighter, and the gold dollar became a rarity in commerce even before federal coins vanished from circulation because of the economic disruption caused by the American Civil War.

gold did not again circulate in most of the nation until 1879 ; once it did, the aureate dollar did not regain its place. In its final years, it was struck in small numbers, causing guess by hoarders. It was besides in requirement to be mounted in jewelry. The regular emergence amber dollar was last strickle in 1889 ; the follow year, Congress ended the series. Damaged common go steady amber dollars tend to be worth anywhere from dissolve rate to about US $ 110 ( as of 2017 ) ; common dates of higher circulated grades sell for about US $ 200 while rare coins in high grades can be deserving up to many thousands .

background [edit ]

In proposing his plan for a batch and a neologism arrangement, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1791 proposed that the one-dollar appellation be struck both as a aureate coin, and as one of eloquent, spokesperson of the two metals which he proposed be made legal offer. Congress followed Hamilton ‘s recommendation lone in separate, authorizing a silver dollar, but no coin of that appellation in gold. In 1831, the first gold dollar was minted, at the private mint of Christopher Bechtler in North Carolina. Much of the aureate then being produced in the United States came from the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia, and the dollars and early small gold coins issued by Bechtler circulated through that region, and were now and then seen farther away. extra one-dollar pieces were struck by August Bechtler, Christopher ‘s son. soon after the Bechtlers began to strike their private issues, Secretary of the Treasury Levi Woodbury became an recommend of having the Mint of the United States ( “ Mint ”, when described as an institution ) strike the one-dollar denomination in amber. He was opposed by the Mint Director, Robert M. Patterson. Woodbury persuaded President Andrew Jackson to have form coins struck. In response, Patterson had Mint Second Engraver Christian Gobrecht [ a ] break off work on the new design for the silver one-dollar coin and work on a form for the gold dollar. Gobrecht ‘s design featured a Liberty capital surrounded by rays on one side, and a palm arm arranged in a circle with the appellation, go steady, and name of the nation on the other. circumstance was given to including the gold dollar as an authoritative denomination in the revisionary legislation that became the Mint Act of 1837. The Philadelphia newspaper Public Ledger, in December 1836, supported a gold dollar, stating that “ the dollar is the smallest gold coin that would be convenient, and as it would be eminently so, neither argent nor paper should be allowed to take its place. ” Nevertheless, after Mint Director Patterson appeared before a congressional committee, the planning authorizing the gold dollar was deleted from the bill .

origin [edit ]

In January 1844, North Carolina Representative James Iver McKay, the chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, solicited the views of Director Patterson on the amber dollar. Patterson had more of Gobrecht ‘s radiation pattern dollar struck to show to committee members, again advising against a mint that if issued would be merely about a half column inch ( 13 millimeter ) in diameter. He told Treasury Secretary John C. Spencer that the lone gold coins of that size in commerce, the spanish and colombian half-escudos, were unpopular and had not been struck for more than twenty years. This seemed to satisfy the committee as nothing more was done for the clock time, and when a gold dollar was proposed again in 1846, McKay ‘s committee recommended against it. even before 1848, criminal record amounts of gold were flowing to american english mints to be struck into coin, but the California Gold Rush vastly increased these quantities. This renewed calls for a gold dollar, american samoa well as for a higher appellation than the eagle ( $ 10 patch ), then the largest aureate mint. In January 1849, McKay introduced a poster for a aureate dollar, which was referred to his committee. There was much discussion in the weight-lift about the aim coin ; one newspaper published a proposal for an annular gold dollar ; that is, with a hole in the middle to increase its belittled diameter. McKay amended his legislation to provide for a double eagle ( $ 20 gold coin ) and wrote to Patterson, who replied stating that the annular gold dollar would not work, and neither would another marriage proposal to have dollar musical composition consisting of a gold hack in a ash grey mint. Nevertheless, Gobrecht ‘s successor as head engraver, James B. Longacre, prepared patterns, including some with a square hole in the middle. McKay got his colleague Democrat, New Hampshire Senator Charles Atherton, to introduce the bill to authorize the gold dollar and the double eagle in the Senate on February 1, 1849—Atherton was president of the Senate Finance Committee. McKay introduced a version into the House on February 20 ; argument began the same day. The dollar was attacked by congressmen from the Whig Party, then in the minority, on the grounds that it would be besides small, would be counterfeited and in bad lighter might be mistakenly spent as a half dime bag, the coins being alike in size. McKay did not respond substantively, but stated that if no one wanted these denominations, they would not be called for at the Mint, and would not be coined. Pennsylvania Representative Joseph Ingersoll, a Whig, spoke against the bill, noting that Patterson opposed the new denominations, and that the idea had been repeatedly turned down, whenever considered. Another Whig, Massachusetts ‘s Charles Hudson, related that Patterson had sent a real and a counterfeit gold dollar to his committee and the majority of members had been unable to tell the difference. McKay made no solution to these claims, but others did, including New York Congressman Henry Nicoll, who assured the House that the forge allegations were greatly exaggerated. The point was, he indicated, that the bivalent eagle and gold dollar were wanted by the populace, and, in the lawsuit of the gold dollar could help money circulate in small communities where banknotes were not accepted. Connecticut Representative John A. Rockwell, a Whig, tried to table the bill, but his motion was defeated. The circular passed easily, and met merely minimal confrontation in the Senate, becoming law on March 3, 1849 .

planning [edit ]

The officers at the Philadelphia Mint, including Chief Coiner Franklin Peale, were by and large the friends and relations of Director Patterson. The outsider in their midst was Chief Engraver [ b ] James B. Longacre, successor to Gobrecht ( who had died in 1844 ). A former copper-plate engraver, Longacre had been appointed through the political influence of South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun. When Longacre began solve on the two modern coins in early 1849, he had no one to assist him. Longacre wrote the be year that he had been warned by a Mint employee that one of the officers ( undoubtedly Peale ) planned to undermine the chief engraver ‘s place by having the work of preparing designs and dies done outside Mint premises. consequently, when the amber coin bill became police, Longacre apprised Patterson that he was ready to begin work on the gold dollar. The Mint Director agreed, and after viewing a model of the head on the obverse, authorized Longacre to proceed with homework of dies. According to Longacre ,

The engrave was unusually hour and required identical close and ceaseless labor movement for respective weeks. I made the original dies and hubs for making the working dies twice over, to secure their perfect adaptation to the coining machinery. I had a wish to execute this work single handed, that I might therefore mutely reply to those who had questioned my ability for the influence. The result, I believe, was satisfactory .

original design [edit ]

The Type 1 gold dollar depicts a forefront of Liberty, facing left, with a coronet or tiara on her head bearing her name. Her hair is gathered in a bun ; she is surrounded by 13 stars representing the original states. The overrule features the date and denomination within a wreath, with the name of the state near the flange. contemporary reviews of the Type 1 design were broadly friendly. The New York Weekly Tribune on May 19, 1849 described the new dollar as “ undoubtedly the neatest, tiniest, lightest, coin in this state … it is excessively delicate and beautiful to pay out for potatoes, and sauerkraut, and salt pork. Oberon might have paid Puck with it for bringing the flower which bewitched Titania. ” Willis’ Bank Note List stated that “ there is no probability of them ever getting into general circulation ; they are raw besides modest. ” The North Carolina Standard hoped that they would be struck at the Charlotte Mint and circulated locally to eliminate the trouble of small-denomination bank notes from out of country. Coin principal and numismatic writer Q. David Bowers notes that the head of Liberty on the Type 1 dollar is a scaled-down interpretation of that on the double eagle, and “ a nicely preserve gold dollar is beautiful to behold ” .

Modifications [edit ]

The 1849 gold dollarOpen wreath assailable wreathClosed wreath close wreath mint records indicate the first aureate dollars were produced on May 7, 1849 ; Longacre ‘s diary notes express rather that the beginning were struck on May 8. A few coins in proof condition were struck on the first day, along with about 1,000 for circulation. There are five major varieties of the 1849 gold dollar from Philadelphia, made as Longacre continued to fine-tune the plan. Mintmarked dies were sent by Longacre ‘s Engraving Department at the Philadelphia Mint to the branch mints at Charlotte, Dahlonega ( in Georgia ), and New Orleans ; coins struck at the branches resemble some of the types issued from Philadelphia, depending on when the dies were produced. Of the coins struck at the branch mints in 1849, only pieces struck at Charlotte ( 1849-C ) exist in multiple varieties ; most are of what is dubbed the “ Closed Wreath ” variety. approximately five of the 1849-C Open Wreath are known ; one, believed the finest surviving specimen, sold at auction for $ 690,000 in 2004, remaining a record for the gold dollar series as of 2013. One of the changes made during production was the inclusion of Longacre ‘s initial “ L ” on the shortness of Liberty ‘s neck, the first base time a U.S. mint intended for all-out production had borne the initial of its interior designer. All issues beginning in 1850 bear the close Wreath. Beginning in 1854, the aureate dollar was besides struck at the fresh San Francisco Mint. The continued hang of amber from California made silver expensive in terms of gold, and U.S. silver coins began to flow out of the nation for melting in 1849, a flow that accelerated over the next respective years as the price of the metallic element continued to rise. By 1853, a thousand dollars in silver mint contained $ 1,042 worth of bullion. As flatware coins vanished, the gold dollar became the only union coin in circulation between the cent and the quarter eagle ( $ 2.50 objet d’art ). As such, it was struck in boastfully numbers and widely circulated. According to Bowers in his record on the appellation, “ the years 1850 to 1853 were the high-water mark of the aureate dollar, the glory years of the denomination when the small gold coins took the place of half dollars and silver dollars in everyday transactions. ” This time came to an end in 1853 when Congress passed an act reducing the weight of most silver coins, allowing modern issues of them to circulate. a early as 1851, New York Congressman William Duer alleged that Patterson had made the amber dollar excessively small in diameter on purpose to provoke criticism. Patterson retired that year after 16 years in his position, and under his successor, George N. Eckert, annular gold dollar and half dollar patterns were struck. Public Ledger reported that although gold dollars would not be struck in annular shape, gold half dollars would be, to help fill the need for change. With the newly Pierce government, Thomas M. Pettit took position as Mint Director on March 31, 1853. In April, Treasury Secretary James Guthrie wrote to Pettit that there were complaints that the gold dollar was besides small, much lost or mistaken for a little argent mint, and enquired about reports that the Mint had experimented with annular dollars. Pettit replied, stating that none had been preserved, but enclosed a flatware patch of equivalent size. He noted that while there would be technical difficulties in the production of the annular dollar, these could be overcome. In a letter dated May 10, Pettit proposed an egg-shaped hole nibble, or an angular-shaped coin, which would lessen the production problems. Pettit died on the spur of the moment on May 31 ; Guthrie did not let the issue descend, but queried Pettit ‘s successor, James Ross Snowden, concerning the issue on June 7. As U.S. coins were required to bear some device emblematic of liberty, the secretary hoped that artists could be found who could find some such design for an annular coin .
Longacre's design for the three-dollar piece (above) was adapted for the Types 2 and 3 gold dollar. Longacre ‘s design for the three-dollar man ( above ) was adapted for the Types 2 and 3 gold dollar. The Act of February 21, 1853, that had lightened the silver coins besides authorized a gold three-dollar piece, which began to be produced in 1854. To ensure that the three-dollar nibble was not mistaken for early gold coins, it had been made slender and wider than it would normally be, and Longacre put a distinctive purpose with an amerind princess on it. Longacre adapted both the technique and the design for the amber dollar, which was made flimsy, and frankincense wide. An adaptation of Longacre ‘s princess for the larger gold coin was placed on the dollar, and a similar agricultural wreath on the reverse. The estimate of making the gold dollar larger in this way had been suggested in Congress deoxyadenosine monophosphate early as 1852, and had been advocated by Pettit, but Guthrie ‘s desire for an annular mint stalled the matter. In May 1854, Snowden sent Guthrie a letter stating that the difficulties with an annular coin, particularly in getting the coins to eject properly from the crush, were more than superficial. however, the Type 2 gold dollar ( as it came to be known ) proved unsatisfactory as the mints had difficulty in striking the raw coin so that all details were brought out. This was ascribable to the high relief of the design—the three Southern branch mints specially had perturb with the assemble. Many of the Type 2 pieces cursorily became illegible, and were sent back to Philadelphia for melting and recoinage. On most surviving specimens, the “ 85 ” in the date is not in full detailed. The type 2 gold dollar was struck only at Philadelphia in 1854 and 1855, at the three Southern branch mints in the latter year, and at San Francisco in 1856, after the design was designated for surrogate. To correct the problems, Longacre enlarged the promontory of Liberty, making it a scaled-down interpretation of the three-dollar piece, and moved the letter on the obverse close to the flange. This improved the metallic flow and purpose acuteness so much that early numismatic scholars assumed the reverse was besides altered, though in fact no change was made and the Type 2 and Type 3 reverses are identical .

design of Type 2 and 3 dollars [edit ]

The Type 2 and 3 gold dollars depict Liberty as a native american princess, with a fanciful fledge headdress not resembling any tire by any indian kin. This picture is an inexact copy of the plan Longacre had made for the three-dollar patch, and is one of a total of versions of Liberty that Longacre created based on the Venus Accroupie or Crouching Venus, a sculpture then on display in a Philadelphia museum. For the change by reversal, Longacre adapted the “ agrarian wreath ” he had created for the reverse of the three-dollar patch, composed of cotton, corn, tobacco, and pale yellow, blending the grow of North and South. This wreath would appear, belated in the 1850s, on the Flying Eagle penny.

artwork historian Cornelius Vermeule deprecated the indian princess design used by Longacre for the obverses of the Types 2 and 3 gold dollar, and for the three-dollar piece, “ the ‘princess ‘ of the gold coins is a bill engraver ‘s [ vitamin c ] elegant version of family artwork of the 1850s. The plumes or feathers are more like the crest of the Prince of Wales than anything that saw the western frontiers, save possibly on a music hall beauty. ”

War years [edit ]

The aureate dollar continued to be produced in the former 1850s, though mintages declined from the figures of two million or more each class between 1850 and 1854. entirely about 51,000 gold dollars were produced in 1860, with over two-thirds of that calculate at Philadelphia, equitable under a one-third at San Francisco, and 1,566 at Dahlonega. Roughly a hundred are known of the last, creating one of the bang-up rarities from Dahlonega in the series .
The 1861-D dollar The other campaigner for the rare from that mint is the 1861-D, with an calculate mintage of 1,000 and possibly 45 to 60 known. Two pairs of dies were shipped from Philadelphia to Dahlonega on December 10, 1860 ; they arrived on January 7, 1861, two weeks before Georgia voted to secede from the Union, as the American Civil War began. Under orders from Governor Joseph E. Brown, submit militia secured the mint, and at some point, little quantities of dollars and half eagles were produced. Records of how many coins were struck and when have not survived. Since dies crack in time, and all the mints were supplied with them from Philadelphia, coining could not last, and in May 1861, coins and supplies remaining at Dahlonega were turned over to the treasury of the Confederate States of America, which Georgia had by then joined. Gold coins with a total face value of $ 6 were put aside for assay. normally, they would have been sent to Philadelphia to await the follow class ‘s confluence of the United States Assay Commission, when they would be available for testing. rather, these were sent to the initial Confederate capital of Montgomery, Alabama, though what was done with them there, and their ultimate destiny, are unknown. The rarity of the 1861-D dollar, and the association with the Confederacy, make it particularly prized. Dahlonega, like the early two arm mints in the South, closed its doors after the 1861 strikings. It and the Charlotte adeptness never reopened ; the New Orleans Mint again struck coins from 1879 to 1909, but did not strike gold dollars again. After 1861, the only issue of aureate dollars outside Philadelphia was at San Francisco, in 1870. The outbreak of the Civil War shook populace confidence in the Union, and citizens began hoarding coinage, amber and silver coins. In late December 1861, banks and then the federal Treasury stopped paying out gold at face measure. By mid-1862, all federal coins, even the base metallic penny, had vanished from commerce in a lot of the state. The exception was the Far West, where for the most region, only gold and silver were acceptable currencies, and composition money traded at a rebate. In the lie of the nation, gold and argent coins could be purchased from banks, change agents, and from the Treasury for a premium in the newfangled greenbacks the government began to issue to fill the break in department of commerce and finance the war .

Final years, abolition, and collecting [edit ]

Since gold did not circulate in the United States ( except on the West Coast ) in the postwar menstruation, much of the production of coins of that metallic in the United States was double eagles for export. accordingly, although 1,361,355 gold dollars were struck in 1862—the concluding time production would exceed a million—the mintage fell to 6,200 in 1863 and remained low for the rest of the coin ‘s being, excepting 1873 and 1874. The Mint felt it improper to suspend neologism of a coin authorized by Congress, and issued proof coins ( generally a few twelve to the bantam numismatic community ) from specially-polished dies, besides producing adequate circulation strikes so that the proof coins would not be unduly rare. In 1873 and 1874, old and wear amber dollars held by the government were melted and recoined, generating bombastic mintages of that appellation. This was done in prediction of the resumption of coinage payments, which did not occur until the end of 1878. once coinage again circulated at face respect, the gold dollar found no rate in commerce amid big quantities of flatware neologism, either released from hoarding or newly struck by the Mint. The government expected that the resumption of coinage payments would cause the dollar and early small gold coins to circulate again, but the public, allowed to redeem newspaper currentness, continued to use it as more commodious than coins. In the 1870s and 1880s, populace concern grew in the low-mintage gold dollar. Collecting coins was becoming more popular, and a number of numismatists put aside some gold dollars and hoped for increases in value. The mint most probable channeled its production through some privilege Philadelphia dealers, though proof coins could be purchased for $ 1.25 at the cashier ‘s windowpane at the Philadelphia adeptness. Banks charged a premium for circulation strikes. They were popular in the jewelry trade, mounted into diverse items. The coins were frequently exported to China or Japan, where such jewelry was made. The dollars were often damaged in the march ; the Mint refused to sell into this trade wind and did its best to hinder it. Nevertheless, Mint officials concluded that jewelers were successful at getting the majority of each issue. Proof mintages exceeded 1,000 by 1884, and remained above that chump for the end of the series, numbers probably inflated by agents of jewelers, will to pay the Mint ‘s agio of $ 0.25 per coin. Another use for the gold dollar was as a vacation giving ; after its abolition the quarter eagle became a popular present. James Pollock, in his final report as Mint Director in 1873, advocated limiting affect of gold dollars to depositors who specifically requested it. “ The gold dollar is not a commodious coin, on account of its small size, and it suffers more proportionately from grinding than larger coins. ” His successors called for its abolition, with James P. Kimball, before he left function in 1889, writing to Congress that except as jewelry, “ small practical use has been found for this coin ”. Later that year, the new director, Edward O. Leech, issued a reputation stating that the amber dollar “ is besides small for circulation, and … [ is ] used about entirely for the purposes of ornament. The death year in which the amber dollar was struck was 1889. Congress abolished the gold dollar, along with the three-cent nickel and three-dollar objet d’art, by the Act of September 26, 1890. A full of 19,499,337 gold dollars were coined, of which 18,223,438 were struck at Philadelphia, 1,004,000 at New Orleans, 109,138 at Charlotte, 90,232 at San Francisco and 72,529 at Dahlonega. According to an ad in the February 1899 write out of The Numismatist, gold dollars brought $ 1.80 each, still in demand as a birthday confront and for jewelry. That diary in 1905 carried newsworthiness of a customer depositing 100 gold dollars into a savings bank ; the teller, mindful of the value, credited the account with $ 1.60 per coin. In 1908, a trader offered $ 2 each for any measure. As mint collect became a far-flung pastime in the early twentieth century, amber dollars became a popular forte, a status they retain. The 2014 edition of R.S. Yeoman ‘s A Guide Book of United States Coins rates the least expensive gold dollar in very fine discipline ( VF-20 ) at $ 300, a rate given for each of the Type 1 Philadelphia issues from 1849 to 1853. Those seeking one of each type will find the most expensive to be a specimen of the Type 2, with the 1854 and 1855 estimated at $ 350 in that discipline ; the other two types have dates valued at $ 300 in that grade .

Gold Sacagawea dollar [edit ]

In 1999, the Philadelphia Mint struck 39 Sacagawea dollars ( date 2000 and the “ W ” mint grade of the West Point Mint ) in 22 karat gold. [ 55 ] The Mint planned to sell aureate Sacagawea dollars to collectors, but this plan was halted after Congressmen questioned the Mint ‘s authority to strike dollars with a composition other than the one authorized. [ 56 ] Twenty-seven of these coins were destroyed soon after they were minted, and the remaining 12 fly on Space Shuttle Columbia during STS-93. [ 57 ] Afterwards the coins were displayed at assorted private events before being transferred to United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. The coins were publicly displayed for the foremost clock at the American Numismatic Association ‘s World ‘s Fair of Money in 2007. Afterwards they were returned to Fort Knox. [ 58 ]

Commemorative gold dollars [edit ]

The gold dollar had a brief resurrection during the period of early United States commemorative coins. between 1903 and 1922 nine different issues were produced, with a total mintage of 99,799. These were minted for diverse public events, did not circulate, and none used Longacre ‘s design .

References [edit ]

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ late chief engraver. See Taxay, p. 204. The incumbent headman engraver, William Kneass, had been partially incapacitated by a throw in 1835, though he retained his position. See Taxay, pp. 170–171, 176
  2. ^ formally, “ Engraver to the United States Mint at Philadelphia ” ; he had no full-time adjunct engravers then. The position came to be known as “ chief engraver ” belated. See Bowers 2004, p. 25
  3. ^ As was Longacre, before he became foreman engraver

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