1850 $10 California Restrike - Baldwin "Horseman" Gold Issue NGC MS63 - unique!
There is rumor that two specimens were struck in gold, but only ONE has ever been traced. Therefore, we believe the specimen we offer for private placement here is unique.
Variety - K-1A
Metal - Gold
Weight - 184.4 grains
Diameter - 27mm
Edge - Plain
NGC Grade - Token, Choice Brilliant Uncirculated MS63
NGC Certification Serial number - 1582137-051
NGC Census - 1 coin. The present example. None at PCGS.
Provenance - The Robert Bass Collection, The Finest Collection of Pioneer Patterns Ever Assembled
During the early stages of the California Gold Rush, George Baldwin & Thomas Holman minted gold coins privately after billing themselves as the successor to Frederick Kohler, the new California Assayer. After acquiring Kohler's minting equipment and dies, Baldwin made $5, $10 and $20 gold pieces starting sometime in mid-to-late 1850.
The 1850 Baldwin $10 issue featuring the vaquero, or horseman, was an original design created by Albert Kuner (his tiny signature appears on the obverse) while employed by Kohler but later brought into full production by Baldwin. This design, however, was so popular that sometime around the 20th century similar dies were created and used to strike specimens in a variety of different metals and then again in 2002 when several ingots recovered from the S.S. Central America were melted and made into $10 proof "49er Horseman" commemorative coins.
Modern researchers believe these coins were struck from copy dies in the period between 1906-1910, and possibly by Stephen Nagy, because of the popularity of the distinctive "Horseman" design. While the coins were undoubtedly struck in this time frame, Adams may be correct in his proclamation around the year 1912 that the dies were prepared much earlier by Albert Kuner, who engraved the dies for the original Baldwin issue. This would account for all of these "Restrikes" showing evidence of moderate to extensive die rust.
The present Gold Restrike specimen displays a beautiful canary-yellow gold and appears to have a cameo contrast between the devices and the fields, typical of what we might find on first-strike coinage or even mint proofs. Many of the surviving restrike coins are known in several different states: early, with perfect dies; middle, with a cud forming on the reverse at 4 o'clock; and late, with another cud at 5 o'clock on the reverse. This coin has an additional die cud at 12 o'clock on the reverse and is the only one known with this feature. Since these die cuds appear on coins that comprise the precious metals of silver and gold, we can safely come to the conclusion these were struck not as experiments, but as the final products.
|Denomination Type||California Gold|
|Mint Location||Private Issue|
|Holder Variety||Baldwin 'Restrike' - Gold K-1a|
|Grade Add On||NONE|