More than $6.385 million in rare coins traded hands at Kagin’s auction held in conjunction with the
American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Orlando, Fla.
Core collections in the auction included the Dr. Christopher Allan
Collection of Bechtler Coins, which is among the finest sets of this
North Carolina pioneer gold coinage ever assembled. With its home base
in the San Francisco area, Kagin’s has a particular expertise in
pioneer gold coins including California gold, so it is only fitting
that the auction offered strong examples of these fascinating and
Here is one of three we're profiling in this latest Market Analysis:
1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. $2.50 pioneer gold coin,
Mint State 63
Many gold coins collected under the broad umbrella of pioneer or
territorial gold issues — which are private issues, generally struck
in regions of major gold finds that were not served by a federal Mint
facility — have designs that mimic contemporary circulating coins.
This served a dual purpose of adding legitimacy to private mint issues
and it spared the individual manufacturers from having to come up with
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Clark, Gruber & Co. was a private minting firm in Denver that
manufactured gold issues dated 1860 and 1861. An 1861 gold quarter
eagle of the firm, listed as Kagin 5 in Don Kagin’s reference
Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States and
graded MS-63 by PCGS, sold for $30,550.
How to spot a counterfeit 1928 China ‘Auto’
dollar: Inside Coin World:
We at Coin World report often on fake U.S. coin rarities coming
from China, but not so often about fake Chinese coin rarities.
The catalog entry notes, “The crude die work of this Clark, Gruber
coin is fascinating to examine,” observing, “The obverse stars are
spindly and thin six-pointed affairs, and the date numerals are
curious to say the least.” The reverse has the curious feature of an
isolated arrow feather where a Mint mark would normally go, which
Kagin’s suspects is a die feature that was only partly removed.
Keep Reading About Kagin's Sale of Pioneer Gold Coins:
pioneer gold coin that topped the sale of Allan Collection of
As Kagin’s writes regarding the hand-struck coin, “The crudeness
of the punch devices is a delight to behold in this day and age of
1853 California gold half dollar
sold in Kagin’s auction features less common obverse design:
These coins are tiny compared to most California gold issues.
Struck in 1852, they were meant to compensate for the short supply
of silver coinage.