C Bechtler $5 K-20 134 Grains, Star MS (PCGS# 10097)
Lot Number: 7541
Deep yellow-olive gold with intense orange highlights among the devices. Choice for the grade; the fields and devices are remarkably free of unsightly marks. An ever-popular issue with fans of early American gold coinage, this variety proudly proclaims itself to be CAROLINA GOLD—other varieties and denominations of Bechtler coinage proclaim NORTH CAROLINA GOLD and GEORGIA GOLD as their source. Coinage from the Bechtler family—Alt Christoph, Americanized to Christopher, along with his sons August and Karl and his nephew, also Christopher—was well received by the locals who were in constant need of circulating coinage, as a petition for a local mint to coin the local ore went unheeded by the U.S. government. The Bechtlers, natives of Germany, arrived in New York in 1829 and set up shop as clock and watch repair specialists. By the spring of 1830 they had relocated to the heart of the gold region near Rutherfordton, North Carolina; nearly all of America's gold up to that time was either imported from abroad or found in the gold fields in the Carolinas and Georgia, the location of the first "gold rush" in America. The family made their own dies, presses, and punches, and their output over the years amounted to some $2.2 million according to Breen (1988). Coins of the Bechtler family are held in high regard by today's collectors as a tangible link to the early history of gold in America. With the addition of this piece to your collection, you will be forever linked to the heady days of frontier coinage.