Market Analysis: California fractional gold in Kagin's sale

May 10, 2022 1 min read

Market Analysis: California fractional gold in Kagin's sale

By Steve Roach , Coin World, Published: May 9, 2022, 10 AM

Kagin’s April 2022 Live Online Only Auction at its Tiburon, California, headquarters featured some terrific examples of California fractional gold coinage.

Also called California small-denomination gold, these were initially minted from newly mined gold in California in response to a lack of small change. They were issued in denominations of 25 cents, 50 cents and one dollar.

Among the top lots at Kagin’s was a round 1853 Liberty Head 50-cent piece listed as BG-420 in Walter Breen and Ronald J. Gillio’s book California Pioneer Fractional Gold. Bob Leonard’s 2003 revision of the reference lists just 13 extant examples. It was struck by M. Deriberpie who placed his initial, a crisp letter D, in the lower obverse field.

Kagin’s observed, “Soft underlying luster underscores the grand array of gold, rose, and orange iridescence on both sides of this attractive scarcity.”

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