With all the rain going on this weekend, I decided to do some research, so I can find some good stuff when the rain stops. While going through some old treasure magazines I came across a interesting story. I thought I would share with you. This is from Western Treasures Magazine - Volume 1, Number 1 - Summer of 1963
Valuable Coins Of The Golden West
Coins and ingots of the early western mining companies and Assaying firms have brought fabulous returns to the finders. When gold was discovered in California in 1848 thousands joined the rush. Gold was practically the only acceptable means of exchange for food, clothing and equipment.
The handling of the gold dust and nuggets in their raw form led to waste and hardship as it was necessary to assay it to find its true value. To expedite commerce, private assay firms were established during the year 1849 to 1860. For a fee they accepted the nuggets and dust which they refined and then converted into readily exchangeable coins and ingots.
The coins, in many instances , resembled the standard U.S. issue of the period. But had the name of the issuing company to identify the coins and guarantee correct and unaccepted value. Some companies originate their own design. Privately minted coins were struck in the standard U.S. mint denominations of $2.50 $5.00 $10.00 $20.00 and a new denomination of $50.00 was inaugurated in both round and octagonal shapes.
Ingots were made by many firms, but these did not have a standardized weight or value. The refined gold was rolled, cut to a convenient size, and the weight, fineness and value were then stamped on the bar.
Examples of the bars are known in all of denominations such as $7.26 $16.00 $23.60 $49.50 and $54.09 to mention a few. The reason for making these ingots was, to get the gold into circulation without the delay of cutting dies and expense of striking the gold and Coins. They were accepted as "money of the territory" and were widely circulated.
Some of the well known assayers and firm who's names appeared on the coins and bars are; U.S. Assay Office, A Humbert, Wass Moliter & Co., J S Ormsby, Kellogg and Co., Massachusetts and California Co., Oregon Exchange Co., Baldwin & Co., Pacific Company, Moffat &Co., and many others.
These privately issued territorial gold coins and ingots are valued today and from $50 to $10,000 and are readily sold on the coin market.
Why not organize a treasure hunt in your own attic, cellar, around old buildings, deposit boxes, or among the your family keep keep-sakes. Treasure may be nearer to you than the Superstition Mountains or along the trail of Pegleg Smith. Many a family has hit the jackpot by digging under the old hen house or in some ruins of an abandoned shack.
I did a quick check to see what the current prices of these coins are, and they've gone up a bit.
An 1852 U.S. Assay Office - $10.00 territorial coin was listed at $12,900.
An 1849 Moffat - $10.00 gold piece was listed at $22,575.
An 1850 Baldwin - $5.00 gold coin was listed at $27,750.
And a 1852 A Humbert - $50.00 octagonal coin was listed for $58,000
I have got to find some of these coins!!!!!!
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