Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 1933

1855 Kellogg & Co. (San Francisco) $20 Gold PCGS graded Genuine AU Details. Cleaning. Still a very nice looking coin. Very close to Mint State.

With the imminent opening of the San Francisco Mint, the United States Assay Office ceased operations on December 14, 1853. At that time no private firms were coining gold. The United States Assay Office, under contract to Messrs. Curtis and Perry, was being reconverted to house the authorized United States Branch Mint.

The only coins that were still circulated were Assay Office $50, $20, and $10 coins, along with the Moffat & Co. issues; the other private issues had been discredited and melted long before for recoinage into official "ingots." The closing of the Assay Office, the lack of private firms issuing coins, the shortage of coins surviving the Second Series issues, and the exportation of what coins there were led to a disastrous financial situation in California before the branch mint opened. High-grade gold bullion continued to flow into the area with no place for it to be coined into money, while the United States customs offices hoarded all the coins which they received. It was under these circumstances that John G. Kellogg and G. F. Richter, cashier and assayer of Curtis, Perry and Ward, were implored by California bankers to open their own assaying office on December 19, 1853. When Curtis, Perry and Ward ceased operations, Kellogg, along with another of the employees, Assayer G. F. Richter, opened his own office on December 14, 1853. Curtis, Perry and Humbert all endorsed Kellogg's operation and integrity. Kellogg operated a gold melting and assaying office in the basement of J. P. Haven's building, No. 106 Montgomery Street.

Twenty-dollar gold pieces (and later a $50 denomination) were rushed into production in 1854 and 1855 to ease the shortage.

A fascinating and historic privately minted gold coin featuring designs adapted from the Federal $20 coinage, this still lustrous example has choice surfaces despite the light cleaning, and a bold strike on all but the stars. Everything you would want from the grade, and probably then some (PCGS # 10225) .
Estimated Value $4,000 - 4,500.

Realized $7,188

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