C Bechtler $2.50 K-10 67 Grains, 21 Carat MS (PCGS# 10067)
The January 2012 Americana Sale
Lot Number: 10513
View the Original Auction
The Lower Appalachian, or Piedmont region of North Carolina and Georgia provided the United States with much of its gold supply from the late 1790s until the discovery of gold in California in 1848. The region experienced a gold rush of its own beginning in the late 1820s and, as would happen later on the West Coast, private minters preceded the establishment of a federal branch mint to expedite the coining and distribution of locally mined gold bullion. The only known private minting firm in North Carolina during the Lower Appalachian Gold Rush was that operated by Christopher Bechtler, his son August and a nephew also named Christopher. Located in Rutherford County, the Bechtlers turned out a high quality coinage product that continued to serve specie starved regions of the South until the eve of the Civil War.<br />
Bechtler coinage was produced in several different series, as defined principally by changing weight and fineness standards. The Kagin-10 $2.50 is a fifth series issue of Christopher Bechtler, Sr. Scarce in all grades and rare at and near the Mint State threshold, this issue is usually represented by heavily worn and/or impaired survivors. The present example, on the other hand, is minimally circulated with bright, olive-gold and rose-gold surfaces that reveal considerable satin to semi-reflective luster as the coin rotates under a light. The lettering and numerals are at least boldly defined, and most are sharp, and none of the wispy abrasions are worthy of individual attention. Several peripheral die cracks on the reverse from 9 o'clock to 12 o'clock are as struck. Impressive technical quality and superior eye appeal for this very challenging private gold coin type.