US Gold Coins - Tracing Its History in Georgia and California


Jun 11, 2015 Europe/London
US Gold Coins - Tracing the History

Gold coins are highly sought-after in the market, and when one hears about gold coins, the immediate response is to ask where these can be found. This is exactly what happened in the United States, particularly during the famed ‘California gold rush’. When news about gold in California was spread through rumours, the general public soon rushed to the site and joined the mad dash to discover gold. The center of the frantic search for gold was Reed Gold Mine, and this was in operation until 1912. The discovery of the site and the popularity of the area was just the start, as explorers and fortune-seekers started to explore the area. At its peak, there were more than 30,000 fortune seekers who worked on the mine site.

The gold rush saw the emergence of enterprising individuals who wanted to take advantage of the gold rush. One such individual is Christopher Bechtler who came to the US in 1829. A watchmaker by profession, Bechtler soon discovered that he can make money out of the mine fields. He purchased the gold that was found in the area, used the precious materials to mint coins and sold these for profit. These coins were allowed to circulate in the market, and minting was cancelled in 1852.

Gold Coins in Georgia

Aside from California, another state that contributed in the minting of coins was Georgia. While the gold rush began in California, the state of Georgia also experienced its own version of the rush starting 1829. At its time, the gold in this state was worth more than $2 million, and these were mined from 1830 to 1837. The state and its diggers also faced a similar concern - there was a limited supply of cash on hand. This is where Bechtler entered the picture; he minted gold coins in the state and duplicated his success.

Californian Gold Coins

Frustrated gold seekers from the state of Georgia were the first ones to start working in California. The fortune and gold-seekers were faced with the same problem, but this did not deter the group of Hiram H. Norris, Thomas H. Norris and Charles Grieg to take advantage of the situation. The team was followed by Moffat & Co that produced coins but were not accepted for trade. To address this situation, the company used the US gold coins as model. There were a number of coins released during this time, including the coinage from Miners Bank. By 1850, the government decided to intervene and offered a system of rating and purchasing gold in the state. It was during this time when the Congress and Moffat & Co decided to formally create a coinage system in the state. Aside from Moffat, the Kelogg & Co also minted gold coins for the state. The Mormons also joined in the rush, and minted their own gold coins that carried images related to their beliefs.