1861 Gold Dollar - 1861 G$1 PCGS MS64 CAC. Civil War One Dollar Gold. Only 27 1861 gold dollars in MS-64 have been approved by CAC as of 1/19/2014. This lovely, mint state, Civil War dated 1861 Gold Dollar is fully struck on both sides. The coin exhibits not a trace of wear, and its grade of MS64 is confirmed by CAC. Just a couple of tiny marks on the reverse keep it from a gem grade. The surfaces are clean, fresh, and boldly lustrous.
Designed by James B. Longacre, the coin shows Liberty wearing a stylized feather headdress as she looks to the left in profile. She is surrounded by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse shows an open wreath of corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco tied at the bottom with a bow. In the center of the wreath is the denomination written as a large 1 with DOLLAR under it followed by the date.
Perhaps Longacre got his inspiration from some of the patriotic and “primitive” paintings of the time. Also figureheads of ships and sculptures in front of tobacco shops had similar faces, hair styles, and Indian headdresses. In any case, it’s clear that he wanted to design something that is uniquely American, and he did so with the Indian Princess motif.
When Longacre first began at the Mint, he was not well received. In securing his position, he ignored Mint Director Patterson and obtained the appointment directly through Senator John Calhoun. However, Patterson eventually praised Longacre’s work. He said that Longacre “has shown …more taste and judgment in making devices for an improved coinage here than have been exhibited by any of his predecessors.”
Only 27 1861 gold dollars in MS-64 have been approved by CAC as of 1/19/2014.
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