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The diminutive Gold Dollar was born out of the increased supply of gold coming onto the world markets in 1848-49 from the newly opened mines in California, and the scarcity of silver coinage in circulation. The world price of silver escalated during the late 1840s, and bullion dealers withdrew silver coins from circulation for export and melting resulting in a severe shortage. The gold dollar, while only minted for forty years, went through three types. The Type I proved a bit too small for convenient handling, and was replaced in 1854 by the Type II, struck on a slightly larger, though thinner planchet. Striking difficulties lead to another design change two years later, when the Type III was introduced. While struck through 1889, mintages after 1862 were quite low.
Among the Circulation strikes, there is one extreme rarity: the 1849-C Open Wreath. Only discovered by Waldo Newcomer in the early 20th century, only five examples have been found thus far. Other keys in the Circulation strikes are the 1861-D, struck while the mint was under Confederate control, and the 1855-D, which is quite rare in high grade. The Proofs of course are all rare, particularly those struck prior to 1857. PCGS populations for all these early Proofs are under 5 pieces for each date.
Notes: This set has bonuses. Please see the Set Composition for a listing.
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