We are excited to release the forty-sixth coin in the CollecTons Keepers program, an exclusive series only offered by CollecTons. CollecTons Keeper #46 in the Series features the 1853 Type One, Liberty Head One Dollar Gold Piece, Certified in an Exclusive ANACS Circulated Holder.
What makes this coin a Coin Worth Keeping?
The U.S. Mint considered issuing a gold dollar several times throughout the 1830s and 1840s, but it was never adopted. Gold was found in Coloma, California in 1848. By 1849 the California Gold Rush had begun and gold was flowing out of California at a high rate. In response to the increased supply of bullion, Congress authorized the gold dollar in 1849. Silver coins of the time were being hoarded and exported overseas so the gold dollar quickly found it's place in commerce. In 1853, Congress mandated that Silver Coins be made lighter in part to reduce the hoarding and exportation. As a result, Silver Coins again became the choice for commerce and the Gold Dollar became a rarity. By 1861, the Gold Dollar had practically disappeared from use and once the Civil War began, Federally Issued Coins practically vanished from circulation.
The Type One Liberty Head Gold Dollar, produced from 1849 to 1854, is the smallest diameter coin that the United States Mint has ever produced. In April of 1853, Treasury Secretary James Guthrie wrote to Mint Director Thoms M. Pettit that there were complaints that the gold dollar was too small, often lost or mistaken for a small silver coin. He inquired about reports that the Mint had experimented with annular dollars (coins with holes in the middle to increase the diameter of the coin without increasing the bullion value of the coin). Pettit said that none of the experiments with annular coins had been preserved. He noted that there were a number of production issues related to producing that type of coin but that they could be overcome. Unfortunately, Pettit died suddenly on May 31 and the annular coin was dropped. Instead, the Type Two Princess Head Gold Dollar went into production in late 1854. The new design was thinner and wider, maintaining the bullion value while increasing the diameter.
The Type One Gold Dollar is a coin steeped in history. From its creation, due to the California Gold Rush, to its adoption, due to the increased price of Silver, to its end, due to its small diameter, it is a coin every collector should have. It is a highly sought after piece of American history.
The obverse of the coin shows the head of Liberty, with a coronet bearing her name. She is surrounded by 13 stars representing the original 13 states. The reverse contains the date and denomination, surrounded by a wreath and bearing "United States of America" near the rim. The design garnered considerable favor. On May 19, 1849, the New York Weekly Tribune described the Type One Gold Dollar as "undoubtedly the neatest, tiniest, lightest, coin in this country ... it is too delicate and beautiful to pay out for potatoes, and sauerkraut, and salt pork. Oberon might have paid Puck with it for bringing the blossom which bewitched Titania".
- Year: 1853
- Mint: Philadelphia
- Finish: Circulated
- Mintage: 4,076,051
- Composition: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
- Weight: 1.672 grams
- Diameter: 13 mm
- Edge: Reeded