Relive the historic California "Gold Rush" with this period gold piece. When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, a chain of events was sparked that saw sweeping change occur in the "Golden State". San Francisco went from a small camp with a population in the hundreds to a major city of twenty-five thousand and California was quickly admitted to the USA as the 31st State in 1850. This period of explosive growth brought about a need for a coinage in a time and place were there was no official U.S. supply. Among the wildly diverse stream of coinage types employed during the period, were the California Fractional Gold pieces, including the one offered here.
Technically a Territorial token, this small octagonal coin was struck in 1853, a year before the opening of the U.S. Mint branch in San Francisco was established. This stunning example is graded MS63 by PCGS, with attributes consistent with the choice brilliant uncirculated grade designation. The obverse bears a sharply defined image of "Lady Liberty", while the reverse is marked with the date "1853", the denomination "1 Dollar" and the legend "California Gold". PCGS's population report shows a total of fifteen coins graded at this level, with just one higher, a notch up at MS64. No figure is given regarding the original mintage quantity and the estimated survival number is 600 pieces in all grades, with 180 in mint state grades such as the offered coin, which is housed in deluxe wood presentation case with an engraved brass plate that reads "California Fractional Gold".