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Obverse of 1854 Gold Dollar - Type II     Reverse of 1854 Gold Dollar - Type II
   

  
1854 GOLD DOLLAR -
INDIAN HEAD

PCGS Nos: 7531, 7601

Mintage:

Circulation strikes:
783,943
Proofs: estimated 5-6

Designer: James Barton Longacre

Diameter: ±14.3 millimeters

Metal content:
 Gold - 90%
Silver and Copper - 10%

Weight: ±25.8 grains (±1.7 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) below the wreath on the reverse

Notes:
The year 1854 saw a couple of design changes in U.S. coins, all initiated by James Ross Snowden, who became Mint Director in 1853.  On the Three Cent Silver coins, the weight was reduced, two outlines were added around the star on the obverse, and an olive branch and a bunch of arrows were added to the reverse.  Rays were removed from the reverse of the Quarter Dollar and Half Dollar denominations.  And, the Gold Dollar was redesigned by Longacre to feature a Liberty head and wreath similar to those seen on the new Three Dollar Gold pieces (which also debuted earlier in 1854).

The finest Uncirculated examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-67's.

No circulation strikes are known from the 1854 Proof dies.

The 1854 Proof dies are different from any other circulation strike or Proof dies used later in 1854 or in 1855 and 1856.  Differences include a higher positioning of "LIBERTY" on the headband, smaller beads in the top row, and some separation of the first three feathers in the headdress.

The finest Proof example graded by PCGS is a single PR-65.

One Proof example was sent to Treasury Secretary Guthrie for approval on August 17, 1854; it was returned on August 18 and coinage began on August 19.  The decision to begin striking was based on the approval of the Proof example viewed by Guthrie, but apparently, modifications to the dies had already been made based on internal Mint decisions to reject the original design.

The only complete set of 1854 Proof coins known was presented to the City of Bremen in July, 1854 in a swap for some of their coins.  This was well before the Small Indian Head Proofs made their appearance.  No other complete Proof sets are known or suspected.

Images courtesy of David Akers Numismatics, Inc.

Significant examples:
1. PCGS Proof-65 (illustrated above).  Colonel Mendes Cohen sale, 1875, Lot 240 - Lorin G. Parmalee sale, 1890, Lot 1244 - William H. Woodin sale, 1911, Lot 851 - Abe Kosoff's 1956 "Thomas Melish" sale, Lot 1742, sold for $525.00 - John Jay Pittman - David Akers Numismatics, Inc. sale of the John Jay Pittman collection, October 21-23, 1997, Lot 864, "Very Choice Proof", sold for $176,000.00 (illustrated above).  Breen called this coin "cleaned" in his 1977 "Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977", but his error in attributing the provenance of this coin (see below), plus the grade assigned by PCGS, call his judgment into question!

2. PCGS Proof-64.  Superior Stamp and Coin "Pre-Long Beach" sale, September 1997, Lot 2846

3. Proof.  Harold P. Newlin, October 31, 1884 - John Works Garrett, Lot 403, sold for $90,000 - Auction '83, Lot 761.

4. Proof.  National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

5. Proof.  Brock - J.P. Morgan - American Numismatic Association.

6. Proof-40 (certified, but not by PCGS) is mentioned by Akers in the Pittman catalog.

#2 and #3 may be the same coin.

Breen incorrectly listed Floyd Starr as the owner of #1 above (Pittman's coin), but Starr's Proof Small Indian Head Gold Dollar was an 1855, not an 1854!

As of August 2000, PCGS had certified three Proofs, two at the PR-64 level, and a third at the PR-65 level.  One of the Proof-64's and the Proof-65 are identified above; the identity of the second Proof-64 is unknown to this author.

NGC MS-68.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries "The Rarities Sale", July 31, 2002, Lot 669, illustrated, sold for $126,500.00

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-67.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 624, illustrated, sold for $92,000.00, "Type II"

NGC MS-65.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc. "The Pre-Long Beach Auction", January 25-28, 2004, Lot 3104, illustrated, "PQ...Housed in an early generation NGC holder...", bought back by the consignor for $60,375.00

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 629, sold for $34,500.00

NGC MS-65.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7473, illustrated, sold for $29,325.00  Previously offered at Chicago ANA Sale, lot 7792

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 38, illustrated, sold for $36,800.00  From Stack's sale of the Bartle Collection, October 1984, Lot 1100

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 737, sold for $29,900.00

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8795, plated, sold for $39,100.00

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1201, illustrated, sold for $29,900.00

PCGS MS-65.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1188, illustrated, not sold

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Abner Kreisberg, April 14, 1972 - Bowers and Merena, Inc.'s H. W. Bass, Jr. II sale, October 1999, lot 85 - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 630, sold for $17,250.00

NGC MS-64.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7140, illustrated, sold for $16,675.00

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8793, plated, sold for $21,850.00  From the Dr. Robert W. Dingle Collection

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8794, plated, sold for $17,825.00

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Rarities Sale", January 3, 2001, Lot 416, illustrated, not sold

PCGS MS-63.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part III", May 21, 2001, Lot 160, illustrated, sold for $14,950.00

PCGS MS-62.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7472, illustrated, not sold

PCGS MS-62.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 1383, sold for $8,912.50

PCGS MS-62.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 631, sold for $6,900.00

PCGS MS-62.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 632, sold for $4,830.00

PCGS MS-61.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 633, sold for $3,680.00

MS-61.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 5654, illustrated, sold for $2,673.75

NGC MS-61.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7471, illustrated, not sold

NGC MS-61.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1202, illustrated, sold for $2,760.00

MS-60.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 5653, not illustrated, sold for $1,121.25

Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 1384, sold for $5,462.50  Ex: Greater New York Convention Sale (Stack's April 1983, Lot 1238)

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7138, not illustrated, sold for $833.75

PCGS AU-58.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7139, not illustrated, sold for $2,530.00

NGC AU-58.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7470, not illustrated, not sold

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2094, sold for $920.00

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2095, sold for $920.00

AU-58.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 39, not illustrated, sold for $1,955.00  Purchased from Stanley Kesselman, September 28, 1970

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 26, sold for $862.50

AU-58.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 5949, plated, sold for $1,150.00

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8791, not plated, sold for $816.50  From the Clyde Godfrey Collection

NGC AU-58.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8792, not plated, sold for $1,150.00  From the Clyde Godfrey Collection

PCGS AU-58.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1189, illustrated, sold for $1,380.00

AU-55.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2096, sold for $2,645.00

NGC AU-55.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7469, not illustrated, sold for $563.50

PCGS AU-53.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7137, not illustrated, sold for $747.50

PCGS AU-53.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8790, not plated, sold for $862.50

AU-53.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 5948, not illustrated, sold for $500.25

Choice About Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 969, plated, sold for $2,875.00

AU-50.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 3915, not illustrated, sold for $1,495.00

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2097, sold for $437.00

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2098, sold for $1,840.00

AU-50, Damaged, repaired.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 5947, not illustrated, sold for $322.00

About Uncirculated.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 1385, sold for $833.75

About Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 970,  not plated, sold for $425.50

About Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The University of Notre Dame Sale", March 20-21, 2001, Lot 971, not plated, sold for $488.75

About Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "The Marvin Taichert Collection of U.S. Type Coins", May 9, 2001, Lot 101, plated, sold for $977.50  Ex Abner Kreisberg's sale of November 25, 1966, lot 1599

PCGS EF-45. Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 1386, sold for $402.50

NGC EF-45.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1190, not illustrated, sold for $460.00

NGC EF-40.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2099, sold for $322.00

EF-40.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 27, sold for $402.50

ANACS Net EF-40, AU Details, Damaged, Scratched.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8789, not plated, sold for $149.50

PCGS VF-30.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7136, not illustrated, sold for $258.75

VF-30.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1203, not illustrated, sold for $184.00

Strong Very Fine.  Ex- Stack's "The September Sale", September 12-13, 2000, Lot 1387, sold for $224.25

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977" by Walter Breen

Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"United States Gold Coinage 1990-1999, Significant Auction Records" by Jeff Garrett and John Dannreuther

"The PCGS Population Report, April 2004" by The Professional Coin Grading Service