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SERIES: Liberty Gold Dollars 1849-1889
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1849 G$1 No L (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS67


PCGS MS66+
PCGS #:
7501
Diameter:
12.70 millimeters
Designer:
James Barton Longacre
Weight:
1.70 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
1,000
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$69,000 • NGC MS68 • 6-20-2007 • Stack's
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 500 R-6.0 15 / 26 TIE 49 / 81 TIE
60 or Better 400 R-6.2 19 / 26 TIE 55 / 81 TIE
65 or Better 50 R-8.5 13 / 26 38 / 81 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 estimated grade  
1 MS67 estimated grade  
5 MS66 PCGS grade  

Heritage 9/2009:1407

Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 estimated grade  
1 MS67 estimated grade  
5 MS66 PCGS grade  

Heritage 9/2009:1407

5 MS66 PCGS grade  
5 MS66 PCGS grade  
5 MS66 PCGS grade  
5 MS66 PCGS grade  
5 MS66 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): From the standpoint of mintage and number of specimens offered at auction, this is the third rarest gold dollar. As the data clearly indicates, most specimens are high grade (usually Unc.) and were undoubtedly saved due to the novelty of being the first gold dollar issues. Gold dollars were authorized by the Act of March 3, 1849, and these pieces were reportedly struck on May 8, 1849.

Ron Guth: In 1849, the Mint introduced a new denomination as a response to private coiners (such as the Bechtlers of Georgia) and a huge influx of gold from California.  The designer of the new Gold Dollar was James Barton Longacre (better known for his Indian Head Cents). As a proud papa of the new coin, Longacre added a tiny initial "L" to the front of the coin, in the truncation line at the bottom of Liberty's bust, where everyone could see it (at least, those with good eyesight).  However, the initial does not appear on all of the dies of 1849, thus creating the "No L" and the "With L" varieties of this year.  A similar event occurred in 1909, when Victor David Brenner placed his initials "V.D.B." at the base of the reverse of the new Lincoln Cent.  However, Brenner's placement of his initials was perceived generally as being too presumptuous, and the initials disappeared from the second round of Cents in 1909.  The ommision of Longacre's initial was not the result of public outrcy, but simply an oversight.

In the real world of numismatics, there are few collectors of minor die varieties in the gold series.  However, because of its listing in the GUIDEBOOK and other coin catalogs, the "No L" variety remains reasonably popular.  According to the PCGS Population Report (as of April 2012), the "No L" variety is a third as common as the "With L" varieties.  Mint State examples of the "No L" are fairly common in grades from MS-62 to MS-64, they become scarce in MS-65, rare in MS-66, and extremely rare in MS-67 (where PCGS has certified only 2 examples).