1849 GOLD DOLLAR
- 1849 ONE DOLLAR GOLD OPEN WREATH
Gold Dollar - The 1849
Gold Dollar came with several varieties. The first was
the Open Wreath, Small Head, No L (for Longacre) variety.
It has an estimated mintage that is somewhat more than 1,000
pieces. Production was stopped by Robert Patterson, the
Mint Director because he felt that the relief was too high
and it would lead to striking problems. In the Open Wreath
variety, the wreath ends just after the S in STATES and
just before the A in AMERICA. The Small Head, No L is rare
in MS66 and finer. There are 2 prooflikes and 1 deep prooflike
Gold Dollar Open Wreath, Small or Large Head, With L
variety actually has the same size heads but different placement
of the stars and dentils. The “Small Head” is
the rarer of the two. Both types are more difficult to find
than the than the Close Wreath.
Gold Dollar Close Wreath was used from 1849 in Philadelphia
and 1850 in the branch mints until the end of the series.
Gold Dollar Close Wreath ends after the A in STATES
and is just under the O in OF. It is seen more often than
the Open Wreath variety in circulated condition.
The California Gold Rush began when gold was discovered
in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma California. By
1849 tens of thousands had come to the West from the United
States and abroad. At first gold nuggets could be picked
up from the ground. Later it was recovered from streams
and riverbeds using panning. Even more sophisticated methods
were used later.