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The tiny $1 Gold piece was a fairly late addition to our circulating coinage, making its first appearance in 1849. The rising world price of silver had resulted in the hoarding of silver quarters, halves and dollar coins, and the discovery of gold in California in 1848 caused an imbalance in the traditional ratio between the two metals. The minting of a gold $1 coin because feasible and authorization was passed in the opening months of 1849. Only three types were made over a 40 year period. The first type lasted only five years, and was deemed a bit too small and thick for its weight. The Type Two followed in 1854, and while it was a bit larger in diameter and thinner than the Type 1, striking problems related to the design caused another redesign only two years later. The Type 3 was the most successful of the three designs, lasting 33 years. Today, a high grade Type 2 is the prize in this short set.
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