US Coins

Market Analysis: engraved piece for Alaska mine

Pieces that relate to mining are especially popular with collectors, like this hand-engraved gold presentation piece dated March 1, 1915, celebrating the first mill run of gold ore at the prominent Alaska-Gastineau Mining Co. mill in Thane, Alaska.

While one side has text, the other side is a charming engraved depiction of the Alaska-Gastineau gold mine mill and beach-side buildings as they appeared in 1915 on the banks of what is now named the Gastineau Channel, according to Heritage’s description of the piece when it sold on Nov. 20, 2020, for $9,000.

Heritage adds that it is one of just two examples known to exist, noting, “The distinctive Gastineau mill and surrounding buildings engraved on this presentation piece are a close match to all known historical photographs of the mining site and mill from the period.”

It contains .851 troy ounce of gold and, consistent with its handcrafted nature, was not graded, but the cataloger observes, “The engraving is sharp and detailed, and the reddish-gold surfaces are satiny with no distracting abrasions.”

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