Estimated grade. DATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WAVY LINE HOLEY GOLD DOLLAR OBVERSE/DATE WITH WREATH BELOW REVERSE. Both thick and thin appear to weigh similarly – 25.4 to 26 grains. The obverse has a wavy line that alternatively touches the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the perforation with date below. The reverse as above with DOLLAR above and a wreath below. Gold, PE, R-7, thick planchet. Dr. Wilkison owned four J-145 coins, mostly thin planchets. See J-145 Thin, as described below.
David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. Perforation with wavy line around it. Between the wavy line and the denticles is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Below the perforation is the date, 1852. Reverse. Same as J-141, that is, DOLLAR above the perforation and a wreath below it.
Comments: There are two varieties of this pattern. One has a thick planchet (AW-159) and the other has a thin planchet (AW-160). Based on the specimens that I have seen, it appears as though the thick planchet variety is by far the more rare. Restrikes exist of the thin planchet variety and were undoubtedly struck during the 1860's.
This is the most common of the ring gold dollars and I would estimate that somewhere between 20 and 25 exist with at least four out of every five being the thin planchet variety. Overall quality of striking and planchet preparation is far superior to that for J-137 or J-141.
This pattern marked the end of the Mint's attempts at annular gold coinage. Actually, to have had such coins approved in the first place would have probably required a change in the Mint Act of 1792 which required that all United States coins bear a device emblematic of liberty, a requirement that could not have been easily satisfied by annular coins. This factor, together with the relatively high cost of making the perforated planchets, led to the abandoning of an interesting concept.
Although a complete listing of known specimens is not feasible, it should be noted that Paramount International Coin Corporation owns five specimens, four of which were obtained from Dr. Wilkison. The fifth was purchased at the Gilhousen III sale. Of these five specimens, four are the thin planchet variety, AW-160. The City of Omaha, Nebraska, the Smithsonian Institution, Johns Hopkins University, and the Chase Manhattan Bank all own examples of his pattern. There was also a specimen in the American Auction Association's Scott sale (1975). The Dr. James Sloss collection that was sold in 1974 contained six pieces, each one being the thin planchet variety. This accounts for 16 different pieces and, as I indicated, there are undoubtedly at least several more.
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