The discovery of gold in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in California persuaded Congress to expand its use in coin production. In March of 1849, legislation authorized the mintage of two new denominations of gold coins, the one dollar and twenty-dollar gold pieces, which became the smallest and largest regular production gold coins ever made in terms of both value and size. At three-quarters the diameter of a dime, the new gold dollar was also the smallest U.S. coin of any denomination. Despite its diminutive size, the tiny gold dollar had substantial purchasing power and amounted to a generous day’s wages in 1849. The obverse of the first gold dollar (Type 1) featured a left-facing Liberty wearing a coronet, or small crown, encircled by 13 stars representing the original states. The reverse bears the denomination within a simple wreath. Production of the gold dollar continued for 40 years in various forms at five mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Charlotte (North Carolina), and Dahlonega (Georgia). The diameter was increased in 1854 and the obverse design was changed to an Indian Princess motif (Type 2). The reverse was also modified, though still featured a wreath encircling the denomination. Due to repeated issues with strike quality, the Indian Princess design was further modified slightly in 1856 (Type 3), with the resultant version employed through 1889. You will receive the unique coin shown in the photos housed in a plush-lined box with a certificate of authenticity.
Type: $1 Gold Piece – Type 3 (1856-1889)
Designer: James Barton Longacre
Weight: 1.7 grams
Diameter: 14.3 mm
Composition: 0.900 gold and 0.100 copper
Net gold weight: 0.04919 oz pure gold
Obverse Design: Indian with headdress
Obverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Reverse Design: Wreath encircling denomination
Reverse Inscription: 1 DOLLAR / DATE
The product offered for sale in this listing has been certified by one or more professional certification services, so you can be confident in the authenticity and stated condition.