Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 60

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Lot 2744

1855-D $1 Gold Indian. NGC graded AU-53. Lightly toned. 1,811 minted. Type 2 Gold Dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1854 and 1855, at Dahlonega in 1855 only, in Charlotte in 1855 only, and in San Francisco in 1856 only. As can be seen in the listings in the Red Book, the lineup is somewhat unusual. Of the Gold Dollars in these three years, the sweepstakes winner for rarity goes handily -- with no close contender -- to the 1855-D of which a mere 1,811 were struck. (The runner-up is the 1855-C, with 9,803 at over five times as many.) Today, the 1855-D is the prime rarity in the group, a key coin in its own right, and probably as few as 25 to 50 exist. Most all are in heavily worn grades. Published grades and actual grades sometimes differ (although it is clear that the grading service graded the present piece correctly).

Relative to this, it is appropriate to quote David Akers: "This is one of the rarest of all Gold Dollars and is extremely difficult to find in high grades. Because of its rarity, it is generally grossly overgraded, and most specimens that I have seen, including those called AU or even Unc., would barely make EF if they had been the more common 1854 Type II or 1855. Most specimens have an extremely weak 8 in the date, and exhibit severe clash marks on both obverse and reverse…" The same writer stated that certain numismatists had claimed that only a dozen specimens are known, but he suggested that "at least twice that many exist. most of them are very low grade." An incredibly important coin, therefore, and this one offers the opportunity to own a coin featuring everything the advanced purchaser would want from the grade, and probably more.Pop 7; 25 finer (PCGS # 7534) .

Amusing things happen in a nation as diverse as the United States is. Even in 1855, the year that this rare Gold Dollar saw first light, the American government was up to its usual capacity. It was this year that the Congress appropriated $30,000 to create the U.S. Camel Corps., an experiment by the army in using camels as pack animals in the Southwest United States.

While the camels proved to be well-suited to travel through the region, their unpleasant disposition and habit of frightening horses is believed to be responsible for their failure to be adopted as a mode of transportation in the United States. The plan fizzled in the early 1860s with the onset of the Civil War.

The idea of using camels for military transport in the U.S. dated back to 1836, when second lieutenant George H. Crossman began pressuring the United States Department of War to use camels in campaigns against Native Americans in Florida. It was not until after the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848) that the idea was taken seriously. One has to wonder, Why is it that so many schemes are "taken seriously" by government officials? Is it because they are using Other People's Money (OPM) to hatch out their plans?
Estimated Value $14,000 - 15,000.

Realized $18,400

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