1852 $1 J-145 Thin PR (PCGS# 11604)

2011 March Sacramento Signature ANA US Coin Auction #1153

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    4368
  • Grade:
    PR68
  • Price:
    $47,438.00
Lot Description
1852 PG$1 Gold Dollar, Judd-145 Thin, Pollock-173, Low R.6, PR68 Cameo NGC. An annular pattern with a wide opening that restricts the legends to the date, denomination, and country name. The lower half of the reverse displays a wreath. Struck in gold with a plain edge. Both thick and thin planchet variants are known of this pattern. The thicker variant weighs around 32 grains, and examples are believed to be original strikings. The restrikes weigh around 25 grains and are struck on thinner planchets. The reason for experimentation with gold dollars (Judd-136 to Judd-148) was to provide a larger, more convenient diameter for the coins. Gold dollars were small and easily lost, and in the early 1850s they represented a substantial amount of money for the average worker. Convenience lost out, however, to a more practical solution: The amount of silver was reduced in most subsidiary coinage in 1853, which returned the silver denominations to the channels of commerce rather than going to the melting pot. And the gold dollar diameter was increased in 1854, via the Type Two format. It is tempting to call this piece flawless. We can find no technical flaws on either side, and obviously NGC thought the same. The fields are heavily striated and give each side deep reflectivity. By way of contrast, the devices are heavily frosted, which gives the piece a cameo effect. For pedigree identification--which is important on a gold pattern in such a high grade--there is a small lint mark near the reverse rim, to the right of the R in DOLLAR. No one will probably ever duplicate the collection of gold patterns assembled by Dr. Wilkison, but the ambitious collector today could assemble a set of gold dollar patterns. This piece would be the cornerstone of such a collection.
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