Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 70

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Lot 2250

1849 Mormon $2.50 Gold. NGC graded AU-58. A hint of light gold tone. Once the Gold Rush in California began in earnest in 1849, enough gold dust had found its way into the Mormon treasury to begin private gold minting. On November 25th of 1849, Brigham Young, John Kay, and John Taylor formed a consortium to design the symbols used on these intriguing gold pieces. Brigham Young personally supervised the mint, which was housed in a little adobe building in Salt Lake City, Utah. The mint was inaugurated late in 1848 as a public convenience. $2.50 gold pieces were struck in 1849 exclusively (unlike the $5 denomination which was also struck in 1850 and 1860). Of course, the Mormon $2.50 is a rare item in all grades, with sufficiently few at the About Uncirculated 58 level to excite just about every collector of Territorial gold who contemplates owning a Mormon coin. The surfaces are warm gold in color with a hint of orange and are very choice, not at all atypical for the Type which tends to be found rather heavily abraded or suffering rim problems. It is no secret either, since the photos reveal all, that the two clasped hands are fully struck, including full separation of the thumb, which is another reason why territorial collectors will fall in love with it. A couple of wispy marks and hairlines are only detectable under a lens. Pop 4; 3 finer in 62 (PCGS # 10259) .

Historic note: The Mormons quickly involved themselves in the California Gold Rush which began in 1848. Many of the faith already resided along the American River where gold was first discovered. In no time, the new gold ore was carted to Salt Lake City, Utah to the Mormon Territory. The minting equipment to strike the coins was acquired and dies made. The devices include the Emblem of the Mormon Priesthood: a three-pointed Phrygian crown above the all-seeing eye. HOLINESS TO THE LORD surrounds. On the reverse, the clasped hands denote friendship, G.S.L.C.P.G. is abbreviated for Great Salt Lake City Pure Gold (never mind the gold having originated in California). Gold coins were in desperate need for commerce. Many circulated well beyond the boundaries of the Utah Territory, including into California's Gold Rush country.
Estimated Value $40,000 - 50,000.
The Stocker Estate.

Realized $69,000

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