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FUN Purchase #4, 1849 Close Wreath Gold Dollar

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My fourth coin purchase was for my Type I gold dollar set, an 1848 Close Wreath gold dollar. This piece is attractive, but it does not have blazing luster which probably explains why it graded MS-64 and not higher. It has the "green gold" look, which you sometimes seen on older gold coins, perhaps because of the planchet having a bit more silver than usual in it.




Once more I will refer to my registry commentary about this piece:


Toward the end of 1849, U.S. mint officials decided to modify the reverse of the gold dollar design. Mint engraver, James Longacre, added an extra branch to both sides of the wreath on the reverse creating the Close Wreath variety. The Philadelphia produced approximately 120,000 Close Wreath dollars in 1849 while almost all of the 11,638 Charlotte mint coins had this design. The close wreath design would appear on the Type I gold dollar for the remainder of the series.


The 1849 Philadelphia Close Wreath gold dollar is much scarcer than the Open Wreath coins for two reasons. First, the mint is smaller by a margin of 120,000 to 568,000 (estimated numbers). Second, people set aside fewer of the Close Wreath coins as novelties because the gold dollar had been in circulation for several months. As a result the Close Wreath coins are much scarcer in Choice and Gem Mint State than the Open Wreath pieces. Anyone who has spent time shopping for these coins at a major show can attest this fact.


The coin pictured above is well struck with virtually mark free surfaces. It has the greenish toning that is often seen on older gold pieces, and is very choice for the grade.

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Wow, that is quite appealing for a 64. On first look I thought it was at least a 66. I do see some small disturbances but nothing huge. The smooth skin is very pleasing. I guess you're right that the lack of booming luster kept it from a higher grade although it looks like this piece has plenty of luster.

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