The Gold Mormon Coin History:
The story of Mormon gold begins in 1848, just like so many other American gold stories have begun. Mormon veterans of the Mexican War were part of the original discoverers of gold at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848. However, these same men took the gold they could find in California and brought it to the Great Salt Lake Valley. This extra medium of exchange was welcomed and it was quickly decided that the gold dust should be converted into coins in order to not waste the dust lost in daily transactions.
The first gold Mormon coin entered circulation on December 12, 1848. Interestingly, these first coins actually sold at a 5% premium. Only 46 gold coins were minted in 1848 due to die breakages. It wasn’t until September 1849 that the gold coins were again issued. The first series of Mormon gold coins were pure gold and did not last very long in circulation. Later gold coins were alloyed with some silver in order to increase the durability of the coin.
There is no evidence that any Mormon gold coins were minted after June 19, 1851. This means that all the gold coins marked 1849 and even 1850, could have been minted at any time between late 1848 and mid-1851. All told, it is estimated that $70,000 worth of Mormon gold coins went into circulation. If you assume all denominations were printed in equal quantities, then about 7,500 Mormon gold coins were minted. Based on known survival percentages, it would appear that the two lower denominations were either minted in greater quantities, or they were just easier to save.
As stated above, gold Mormon coins were minted to help alleviate the lack of a reliable medium of exchange in an isolated part of the world. Mormon gold was shipped to places like New York and Baltimore on the east coast to secure goods needed back in the territory. It is easy to think that a trader in a major city could have put aside a strange coin from a faraway place as a keepsake from a profitable transaction. Surely some high grade Mormon gold coins were saved purely because of their curiosity factor.
Today it is thought that around 300 gold Mormon coins are held by collectors. New discoveries in the field of Mormon coinage are always happening and always exciting.
More Info About Gold Mormon Coins:
Today the LDS has all the original gold coin dies
Gold Mormon Coins were restruck and today there are many more replicas than authentic coins
Important People Involved In The Gold Coin Production Process:
Willard Richards, Brigham Young, John Taylor, John Kay, Robert Campbell, Martin Peck, William Clayton, Thomas Bullock
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