1849 $5 California Gold Half Eagle - Moffat & Co. PCGS AU53


Are you a numismatic California Gold Rush specialist? If so, then you must take a careful look at this 1849 Moffat & Co. offering from AUCM. Purchasing this coin is the next best thing to personally taking part in the Gold Rush. PCGS has graded 10 examples as AU53 with 34 finer. The obverse looks like the federal issues of its time, but with “MOFFAT & CO” instead of “LIBERTY.” The reverse reads “S.M.V. [Standard Mint Value] CALIFORNIA GOLD” instead of “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” Take a look at this greenish-gold beauty, crafted from freshly mined gold dust from the gold fields of California. Take a deep breath. Then imagine acquiring it and calling it your own.  

The most important private gold business during the California Gold Rush was Moffat & Co. The men who ran this firm were important figures of the time. In fact, they were so important that when the U.S. government made plans to develop and open the first San Francisco Mint, they called two of the firm’s partners for assistance. The senior founder, John Little Moffat, had considerable experience in gold mining and production, having worked in the gold fields of Georgia and North Carolina, as well as an assayer before heading to California to make his fortune. 



Miners during the California Gold Rush. This piece was crafted of gold from the Gold Rush. Photo: wikipedia.

Since they had testimonials from people such as the Secretary of the Treasury, Moffat & Co. hit the ground running upon arriving in California. They initially produced rectangular gold ingots that, while impractical, provided desperately needed coinage. Soon after setting up their shop, they engaged the services of die sinker Albrecht Ferdinand Kuner, who later engraved California's State Seal. Kuner modeled his work upon the federal Coronet gold coins of the period. While they were not the first private issues during the Gold Rush, they were considered to be of such premium quality that they sealed Moffat & Co.'s reputation as the leading private mint of the Gold Rush period. Kuner's half eagles were produced from the fall of 1849 until early 1850.



More Information
PCGS # 10240
Grading Service NONE
Year of Issue NONE
Grade NONE
Denom Type N/A
Numeric Denomination $5
Mint Location NONE
Designation NONE
Circ/UnCirc Not Specified
Strike Type N/A
Holder Variety Moffat
Grade Add On NONE
Holder Type N/A

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