Turn back the clock, join a wagon train and take a trip to the Old West with a Common Date $1 Gold Liberty Type 1 MS63. America's westward expansion is underway and you can be a part of it. Carpenter James Marshall was walking by the millrace at the sawmill he was building when he glanced down and noticed a glitter in the water. Alterations to the millrace had caused a mass of grit and sand to be carried off and uncovered in its wake lay a distinctive sparkling stone. Opal perhaps, or maybe something else? Marshall ignored it and walked on, giving further instructions to his team. However, further along the stream, he was distracted by yet more glittering fragments in the water, and so he stooped down to pick one up and take a closer look. It was January 24, 1848 at Sutter's Mill. This chance discovery was to change the course of American history.
Marshall had found gold and as news spread of the discovery around 300,000 people moved to the region in search of their own pot of gold. Though the majority of the "forty-niners" remained disappointed, a few found significant fortunes. With the discovery of gold, came the demand for new gold coinage, so people had a practical way to use their new-found wealth. So in 1849, under pressure from western mining interests, Congress approved the production of two gold coins, including a $1 piece.
Purchase a $1 Gold Liberty Type 1 MS63 from a random year of issue, and you'll have an indelible link to those forty-niners when you hold this coin in your hand. Who knows who'll have held it first - a prospector, a pioneer, a gunslinger or one of the other characters that made up the Old West? Today however, it could be yours.
This minuscule $1 coin was designed by James B Longacre, Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, with help from Assistant Engraver Peter Filatreu Cross, who is said to have designed the reverse side. On the obverse side, we see a left-facing profile portrait of Lady Liberty, shown wearing a coronet emblazoned with the word LIBERTY. Liberty's hair is curled up and behind the coronet, though some strands escape cascading down her neck. Liberty's portrait is surrounded by 13 stars denoting the original colonies that made up the United States.
The reverse design features a wreath of foliage, which encircles the value of 1 DOLLAR and the year of issue. Some variations exist between different years, mints of issue and how complete a circle the wreath forms; however your order will be fulfilled by a coin from a common and random year of issue in a mint state of 63. The lettering UNITED STATES OF AMERICA completes the reverse design, while the edge of the coin is reeded. The Type 1 $1 Gold Liberty has a diameter of just 13 mm and a total weight of 1.672 grams; as such it is the smallest ever U.S. coin. Struck from 0.900 gold, the coin is therefore composed of 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper, and contains 0.04837 ounces of pure gold. These $1 coins were struck at the Philadelphia branch of the U.S Mint, plus branch mints including Dahlonega, New Orleans, San Francisco and Charlotte.
The diminutive nature of this coin led to complaints that it could be easily lost, literally slipping through people's fingers, and it was produced for just six years before being replaced. This makes it highly sought after by collectors today. Don't let it slip through your fingers. The gold rush is upon us again and you don't want miss out. Stake your claim on a Common Date $1 Gold Liberty Type 1 MS63.
• U.S. Mint • Gold • Face value $1 • Type 1 gold dollar • Designers: James B Longacre / Peter Filatreu Cross • Mint State 63