4 Most Valuable Gold Coins from Mints That No Longer Exist
Rare gold coins have a special allure; especially those that were produced in limited quantities or that were minted from a mint that no longer exists. While acquiring gold bars and gold bullion coins is a great way to invest, there’s something intriguing about a rare gold coin that can capture the attention and imagination of a coin collector.
The rare gold coin market is alive and well and you may be surprised that some of the most sought after and valuable gold coins are from United States Mints that were decommissioned or closed over a hundred years ago. In fact, a couple of the mints are so obscure, there’s a chance that you may not even realize that they once existed.
We thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the most valuable gold coins from the four U.S. Mints that are no longer in existence and will share with you not only some of the most valuable coins, but also a bit of history on each mint.
In the early 1800s, gold was first discovered and documented in the United States. Reed Gold mine, the first gold mine in the U.S., was started in North Carolina. There were no branch mints at the time, and transporting the gold to Philadelphia was cumbersome at best.
establish branch mints. One of them would be in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Charlotte Mint began producing $5 Gold Half Eagles in 1838. Only gold coins were ever minted at this government mint. In addition, the mint only produced coins with face values of $5 and under.
The C mintmark was used to distinguish it from Philadelphia and the other new branch mints. In all, about $5 million in gold coins were minted in Charlotte.
During the Civil War, the Charlotte Mint was seized by the Confederate states. They tried to operate the mint, but it served to be too difficult with the war going on. The mint was turned into a hospital until after the war was over. At that point, it became an assay office and later a museum.
The Charlotte Mint gold coins range from rare to extremely rare. The Charlotte Mint gold coins are some of the most desired items among numismatic collectors and coin enthusiasts today.
The 1861-C Coronet Head Half Eagle
The 1861-C Coronet Head Half Eagle, Type 1 with No Motto, is one of the most valuable coins to add to your collection if you can find one. The coin, designed by Christian Gobrecht, featured a female head left facing with her hair in a bun and adorned by beads. Her coronet has the word Liberty across it, and stars circle the coin, meeting at the date.
On the reverse, an eagle spreads its wings, holding a shield and standing on an olive branch with arrows. The coin, like other early U.S. coins, was made of 90% fine gold. In uncirculated condition, this coin was recently valued at $94,422.
At about the same time as gold was struck in North Carolina, the North Georgia gold rush began. So, when Congress added branch mints, they opened one in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Mint was open from 1838 to 1861, producing only gold coins in denominations ranging from $1 to $5.
Over its 23 years of operation, over $6 million of coins were minted. Like the Charlotte Mint, the Dahlonega Mint was seized by Confederates during the Civil War. Because the mintages of Dahlonega-minted coins are extremely low, all of them are rare and valuable.
An interesting fact about the Dahlonega Mint is that the steeple at the top the building is leafed in pure Georgia gold. Shining as it reflects the sun’s ray, it is a timeless reminder of the rich history of gold prospecting and mining in Dahlonega.
1854-D Indian Princess Head Gold $3 Piece
The Indian Princess Head Gold $3 piece is just one of the many scarce coins minted in Dahlonega. The coin features a female Native American on the obverse, designed by the mint’s chief engraver at the time, James B. Longacre. The reverse shows an agricultural wreath made of tobacco, corn, cotton, and wheat.
The coin was made of 90% pure gold. The D mintmark was used at this time, but the D mintmark later referred to the Denver Mint.
Only 1,120 of these $3 gold coins were minted at the Dahlonega Mint. Of course, this low mintage resulted in a rare and valuable coin. If you have such a rare coin, selling it at the spot price or using it as legal tender makes little sense at all.
With an actual gold weight (AGW) of 0.1451 troy ounce of gold, its gold value isn’t substantial, but as a collector’s item, it’s quite impressive . In fact, today, its price in uncirculated condition is estimated at $131,294.
New Orleans Mint
In addition to the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints, Congress authorized a government mint to be built in New Orleans. This mint opened in 1838 and produced both gold and silver coins until 1961. At that time, the New Orleans Mint suffered the same fate as the other two branch mints opened in the same year.
Louisiana became a Confederate state in 1861 and seized the mint. A few months later, unable to get enough gold bullion, the mint closed. In 1879, it was reopened and operated until 1909.
In 1909 Treasury officials decided to defund the operations at the mint. Without government funds, the mint was unable to sustain operations.
In 1911, the New Orleans Mint was officially decommissioned and the machinery was transferred to the main United States Mint facility in Philadelphia. The total face value of coins minted with the O mintmark is estimated at over $307 million.
1856-O Liberty Head $20 Gold Double Eagle
Many of the coins minted in New Orleans had soft details, but some of the gold coins stand out. For instance, one of the 1856-O Liberty Head $20 Gold Double Eagles has exquisite details and a beautiful reflective finish.
Its gold content is 90% fine gold. That year, only 2,250 gold double eagles were struck bearing the O mintmark. This coin was such a unique example that it has been valued at $1,437,500!
Yet, pricing for lower-quality 1856-O Liberty Head gold double eagles is high as well, valued at about $475,000 in Uncirculated Condition.
Carson City Mint
Of the four mints listed here, the Carson City Mint is the one with a completely different history. When the Comstock Lode was booming, miners needed somewhere nearer than San Francisco to process their gold.
Therefore, the government authorized a mint in 1863, and the Carson City Mint building was completed by 1869.
The coins minted at the Carson City Mint bear the mintmark CC. First, this mint produced Seated Liberty dollars in 1870. Between then and its closing, the mint produced a variety of coins, including:
– Twenty-cent pieces
– Half dollars
– Trade dollars
– Morgan dollars
– Seated dollars
– Five-dollar gold pieces
– Ten-dollar gold pieces
– Twenty-dollar gold pieces
The year when Carson City Mint produced the most coins was 1876. The mint was closed from 1874 until 1889 because of political issues. Consequently, in 1889, the Carson City Mint resumed operations until it was closed in 1899. The Comstock Lode output was so diminished and by that time that a Carson City mint was no longer needed.
1879-CC Coronet Head Gold $10 Eagle
All American Gold Eagle coins from the Carson City Mint are relatively rare. Only a total of 299,778 gold eagles were minted there. The lowest-mintage year was 1879, when only 1,762 $10 gold eagles were struck. This coin, described above, is now valued at $117,388 in uncirculated condition.
If you want to buy gold coins at a lower price, the ones in Extremely Fine Condition can be had for slightly less than $16,589.
Buying and Selling Gold Coins
At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we buy and sell both collectible coins and bullion coins for gold investing. We deal in coins from a variety of mints, including the South African mint, Royal Canadian Mint, and Perth Mint.
If you are looking to sell or buy a specific type of gold coin, contact us. Above all, our pricing is fair for both buying and selling gold coins.
We have located many special coins for our buyers over the year. At Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, we provide outstanding customer service and expert advice on gold and all precious metals coins.