1860 California Fractional Gold (1860 G$1 Octagonal Liberty BG-1102) NGC MS65, R-4. This lovely 1860 Fractional Gold Gollar piece shows bright mint luster on the central devices. The fields are remarkably clean and original, as expected for a gem grade. The strike shows slight weakness on the date and Liberty’s lower curls. This piece was struck from an early die state since there is no bisecting obverse crack. This early Period Two California gold dollar piece shows a crude portrait of Liberty facing left. Her coronet is blank. She is surrounded by thirteen poorly formed stars. The reverse shows a simple open laurel wreath tied at the bottom with a bow. Within it are the denomination, 1 DOLLAR, and the date. Inscribed to the left is CALIFORNIA and to the right is GOLD.
The coin was issued by Frontier, Deviercy & Co., a firm that operated from 1853 to 1864, producing a variety of small gold pieces. California fractional gold was created because of the need for small change during the California Gold Rush Period. The U.S. Government at that time could not meet this need. It was bound to the .900 fine gold standard, and there was an insufficient supply of parting acids to make the gold to that standard. Manufacturing jewelers filled this void through the minting of these small gold pieces. Coinage shortages continued well into 1856 even when the San Francisco Mint began production to assist.
Researchers are not certain if fractional gold pieces circulated in California after 1860. Some feel that they were intended as souvenirs or jewelry and not for circulation. By the late 1850’s, the San Francisco Mint had issued a sufficient number of quarters and half dollars to meet demand. There was no need for fractional gold as currency. Private coinage was prohibited by law in 1864. Makers of fractional gold obviously did not consider them coins. To reinforce the point that private coinage was illegal, the government sent Secret Service agents to jewelry shops in Los Angeles and San Francisco to confiscate all fractional gold. They even confiscated gold bangle bracelets that were made using fractional gold pieces.
All 1860 California Fractional Gold (Octagonal Liberty BG-1102) are rare in any condition. In its population report NGC shows 19 have been certified in all grades. In MS 65 there are 4 with none better.
** All buy it now coins availability must be confirmed via email or phone before purchase. Please contact us ( email ) for availability.
* Prices subject to change with no advance notice due to market or other reasons.
see it here? Tell us what you want Click