1853 $20 Moffat & Co. NGC AU-58.
A bold, lustrous and wonderful example of this rare
territorial gold piece. Produced by Curtis, Perry and
Ward, they used the Moffat & Co. name that was well
known through-out the region. They were struck under
the United States assay office of gold, and the Moffat
& Co. name was retained from an earlier agreement.
Moffat & Co., co-founded by John Little Moffat,
was one of the most respected companies that struck
private gold coinage in California. The first issues
were produced in 1849, having $5 and $10 denominations.
These were produced in large numbers and circulated
freely throughout the gold rush regions. Later issues
were also produced, both under the Moffat & Co.
name and the U.S. Assay office name.
This respective issue, Kagin-19, High R-5 (31-50
known) was struck from July to October 1853. Their
exact reason for their issue is not known. The U.S.
Assay continued to strike coins with the unique and
well-known design simultaneously. The Alta California
published a description of this gold coin in their
July 26, 1853 issue:
“…The new double eagles lately issued
by this firm [Moffat & Co.’s Assay Office]
are attracting much admiration…the coin is a
facsimile of that struck by the United States Mint…scarcely
inferior to the issues of the Mint”
The present coin is a lightly circulated survivor,
completely original. Very lustrous, with near full
luster only slightly impaired by the short circulation
of this piece Boldly struck, all details are fully
struck and show no distractions. Perfect for the collector
of private gold coinage, or for anyone interested
in storied coins, such as this one.