1849 G$1 Closed Wreath MS66 Certification #26591897, PCGS #7503
David Akers (1975/88)This is the most common variety of 1849 gold dollar and its mintage is probably on the order of half of the 688,567 total mintage reported for the year at the Philadelphia Mint. Choice specimens are reasonably available, although they are certainly not as common as as for 1851, 1852, 1853, or 1854.
The first Gold Dollars debuted in 1849, the result of a large influx of gold from California. The first versions were of the Open Wreath variety, showing the tips of the wreath distant from the 1 of the denomination. Later in the year, the Closed Wreath variety became the design of choice and was used until the end of the Type I series in 1854. According to researcher John Dannreuther, the 1849 Closed Wreath design only appears on one die variety (his D-5).
The 1849 Closed Wreath Gold Dollar is far less common than the Open Wreath version, yet it can be found with relative ease in Mint State. Average Uncirculated (MS63) examples appear to be the most available, followed by MS64. Gems are scarce but not rare, and PCGS has yet to grade an example better than MS66.