bronze, gold-plated nugget tokens issued by Charles Sealey of Latouche
Island in Alaska sold at auction March 29, 2014, for a total of
$14,101 including the 19.5 percent buyer’s fee, by Holabird Western
was a miner and businessman in Alaska. He joined the Klondike Gold
Rush in 1897.
tokens tell one of the many stories of the Klondike Gold Rush, 1896 to
1897. The pieces just sold represent a significant increase in the
total population of the tokens. The tokens were sold individually in
tokens Sealey issued are “considered one of the great western monetary
pieces from the Alaska gold rush. Before this find, there may have
only been five to 10 known in existence,” according to the auction
firm. The five tokens were dug and “show the signs you would expect of
tokens buried for some time.”
side of one of the gold-plated nugget tokens (Lot 281) states ✶
CHARLES E. SEALEY ✶ LATOUCHE, ALASKA and has a tiny gold-plated
copper nugget attached. The text on the other side says GOOD FOR ONE
DOLLAR’S WORTH OF ANYTHING surrounding CHARLES E. SEALEY in the center
of the token. This individual token sold for $2,200.
to the auction firm, these dug tokens were found in the 1940s by a
Norwegian prospector. Many of the miners in that part of Alaska were
from Norway. Latouche Island is in Prince William Sound, located
southwest of Valdez, Alaska. It was the “perfect target for
prospectors on the way to the goldfields,” according to the catalog description.
remnants of the mining community of Latouche Island are gone. A
magnitude 9.2 earthquake hit Alaska on March 27, 1964, causing massive
changes to the landscape. Latouche Island was raised about 9 feet and
moved about 60 feet southeast. The community was deemed unsafe and its
structures were bulldozed, according to the catalog description. The
once-thriving mining town is now considered a ghost town.
more information about this item and other lots in the auction, visit
the auction website at www.FHWAC.com or telephone the firm at 775-825-1624.