Best Buy: California Gold Rush
1851 – 1857 Gold Rush $20 Liberty ‘Double Eagle’ coins
Just imagine holding a coin in your hand that was minted during the California Gold Rush. What stories could it tell? What visions would it inspire? I can help you find out, but only a very few of you. Don’t wait. Call 800-831-0007 now to claim your coin!
Who hasn’t heard stories of the California Gold Rush? Prospectors and dreamers setting out with pick axes and gold pans. Now, we are making it possible to put that history into your portfolio. Just think of the hands and pockets these coins were in 160 years ago.
This month, we have put together a small offering (27) - $20 Liberty ‘Double Eagle’ gold coins minted between 1851 and 1857.
Call 800-831-0007 or email me today to add these Gold Rush era $20 Liberty ‘Double Eagle’ coins to your portfolio. Again, we only have 27 coins. They will not last long.
On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall stumbled upon gold at Sutter’s Mill in Colona, California. At first, he didn’t realize the magnitude of the find. Mr. Marshall was a sawmill operator who viewed the shiny flakes in the ground as a mere curiosity. Amusingly, he told his employees to only search for gold if they had free time. While Marshall may have largely dismissed the discovery, his fellow Californians (and the nation) correctly saw it as a pivotal event. The ensuing California Gold Rush would have a profound and lasting impact on American history.
Soon after the yellow metal was discovered, an immediate need developed for gold coinage. An incredible amount of gold was entering the marketplace, and San Francisco was a rapidly growing commercial center. This combination meant trustworthy gold currency was badly needed. Private assayers and refiners began issuing coins and ingots, but their acceptance was mixed. Even if an assayer was known and trusted in San Francisco, that did not mean a merchant in Boston or Brazil would accept gold with their stamp.
The State of California was the first government agency to act. They quickly opened an assay office in San Francisco to convert raw gold dust and nuggets into bars and ingots. Incredibly, they accepted a whopping 5,000 ounces of gold in their first day of operation! The state office was fairly accurate in their assays; the actual gold fineness/composition was often quite close to the markings on the bars. Nonetheless, their gold products were trading at a discount in the marketplace. Merchants and banks wanted more trustworthy currency.
As an interim solution, California gold was being transported cross-country to the Philadelphia and New Orleans Mints for conversion into coinage. This was an incredibly arduous, dangerous and time-consuming journey in the 1850’s. Before the Panama Canal was built, a ship leaving San Francisco could reach China faster than Philadelphia! Since the transcontinental railroad had not yet been constructed (and was 15+ years away), a cross-country land journey took four months across rough, challenging terrain.
Finally, it was decided that an official United States Mint was badly needed in San Francisco; the facility came to fruition in 1854. Within its first year of operation, the San Francisco Mint converted $4 million in gold bullion into coins. The new facility also rendered many of the private operations obsolete and unnecessary. Many independent assayers, refiners and minters slowly ceased operations in the early 1850’s.
Not only did the Gold Rush result in a new mint, but it also resulted in a new gold coin denomination. The celebrated $20 Double Eagle was created as a direct effect of the California Gold Rush. Given the significant influx of gold into the market, a larger gold coin was badly needed. Until 1850, the highest-denominated U.S. gold piece was the $10 Eagle, but the public demanded a larger gold coin.
In terms of condition, the $20 Double Eagles of the 1850’s often fall into two categories: abysmal or spectacular. These hefty coins saw extensive day-to-day usage; the vast majority of the coins exhibit substantial wear and handling marks. They were often transported in bags—and as the heavy coins came in contact with each other, they would pick up deep gouges.
On the other hand, a small quantity of superbly preserved early $20 Double Eagles have survived — but only as a result of tragedy. Recovered shipwrecks like the SS Central America and SS Brother Jonathan contained numerous $20 gold pieces from the 1850’s and 1860’s. These coins were Uncirculated when they were loaded onto the ship and sat untouched on the bottom of the ocean until the late 20th century. These ex-shipwreck coins are dazzling Choice and Gem Uncirculated pieces, but they are also extremely costly. A typical shipwreck recovery coin will cost five figures!
Here is your chance to hold history…
We are excited to offer a remarkable group of Gold Rush-era $20 Double Eagles. This offering contains just under 30 coins, which were accumulated by a client of ours over the past year. The coins all date between 1851 and 1857 (the height of the California Gold Rush) and were struck at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints.
What makes the coins particularly special is their condition. As mentioned earlier, the typical early $20 gold piece displays surface damage, extensive wear and numerous blemishes. The coins in this group exhibit unusually clean surfaces and are devoid of the major flaws that plague early $20 gold pieces. They display what numismatists refer to as ‘honest wear.’ They look like they were plucked from circulation in the 1850’s!
These coins are direct descendants of the California Gold Rush; it would be hard to imagine a more historically significant $20 Double Eagle. Yet, surprisingly, they are trading for a rather modest premium.
$20 Double Eagles struck between 1850 and 1866, known as ‘Type 1’ $20’s, are at least 100x scarcer than their common ‘Type 3’ counterparts. The dates in the 1850’s are probably more than 200x rarer than the common 1904. An 1851 $20 gold piece, for instance, has a total NGC population of 925 pieces in all grades, of which most are circulated. The 1904, meanwhile, has a total population of 219,931 with a median grade in the 60’s.
The coins in this group are available for a little more than double the cost of a common $20 gold piece. With such an extreme degree of rarity and historical importance, we see no reason why these early $20’s gold pieces shouldn’t be worth many, many multiples of the common price. At current levels, they are some of the best bargains in the United States gold market.
We asked our client for more coins, but this is all he was able to find over the past year. This historically intriguing group took a year to build, but will likely disappear from our inventory in mere days.
Take advantage of this opportunity to have a Gold Rush era coin of your very own. These coins will make great conversation pieces for family, friends and colleagues.
We have just 27 coins total. All coins are certified by either NGC or PCGS. We are offering them (delivered) at the following prices.
Gold Rush Era $20 Gold Liberty ‘Double Eagles’ 1851 - 1857
Available in the following grades:
(6) XF 40 @ Call for price & availability
(6) XF 45 @ Call for price & availability
(8) AU 50 @ Call for price & availability
(5) AU 53 @ Call for price & availability
(2) AU 55 @ Call for price & availability
This is the delivered price.* There is no additional cost for shipping, handling or insurance. While supplies last, the price you see is the price you pay.
Call - 800-831-0007 - or email me today to purchase your coins and to take advantage of this low price before the market discovers the price anomaly.
*Prices are subject to change based upon product availability and due to market fluctuation.