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1856 GOLD DOLLAR
1856 Gold Dollar

1856 Gold Dollar - In 1856 the Indian Princess design was changed to a larger portrait with a shallower relief. This change enabled most of the new Type 3 Gold Dollars to be struck with strong detail. Since many dates of the issue did not circulate well, most are available in XF or better condition. After 1878, Mint State coins are available because they were saved in quantity. Charlotte and Dahlonega coins of this type are often found with weak details and other problems. On all coins of this issue the word LIBERTY is often affected by striking. So are the two central numerals of the date and the ribbon knot. Coins from the 1880s frequently have copper stains. Many from 1860 onward have prooflike surfaces.

The Type 3 Gold Dollar was designed by James B. Longacre. It was made to solve the problem of weak strikes of the Type 2 Indian Princess coin. While the design was similar to the previous issue, Longacre lowered the relief and moved the obverse head so as not to be opposite a reverse relief area. This coin is called the Large Size or Large Head.

The Small Head gold dollar had a mintage that ranged from a high of 783,943 in 1854 to a low of 1,811 for 1855-D. The Large Head gold dollar had as its highest mintage 1,762,936 in 1856 and a low of 400 in 1875.

The 1856, Upright 5 gold dollar was made using a half-dime logotype and an upright 5. Only a few have been graded MS65 and better. They are rarer than the Slant 5 variety. A total of 7 Upright 5s in MS65s have been graded by both major grading services.

The 1856, Slant 5 variety is common in all grades below MS65. In MS66 and above, 14 have been certified by both services.

In 1856 John Brown and a group of abolitionist settlers killed five settlers in Franklin County, Kansas. Called the Pottawatomie Massacre, this was one of the episodes in Kansas that happened before the Civil War and came to be known as Bleeding Kansas, which was caused by the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

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