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Territorial Gold: Bechtler NEWP-- Send to CAC? Please comment and / or share your Bechtler.....

AvocetAvocet Posts: 226 ✭✭✭✭

I am a sixth-generation native of Western North Carolina, and my ancestors once traded in Bechtler gold. From about 1830 through the mid-1840s, my ancestors would mine gold from regions between Charlotte and Asheville and then take that gold to the Bechtler family near Rutherfordton to mint coins that could be used in trade. The Bechtler family developed a strong reputation for integrity and quality, and their coins quickly became the preferred currency in the region. During the civil war years and afterward, several southern contracts required payment in Bechtler gold over federal gold minted in Philadelphia or Charlotte. The Charlotte mint essentially put the Bechtler operation out of business despite the demand. Another unfortunate explanation for the decline of the Bechtler business is that Christopher and his son Augustus both died relatively young, possibly due to occupational exposure to toxins such as mercury.

I have a small Bechtler collection and recently acquired this addition. The streak on the reverse serves as a reminder of the smelting and minting procedure— some impurities may be evident. There is also a rumor that Augustus may have shorted gold content for some coins, contrary to the business ethic of his father.

$5 back then would be worth about $170.00 in today's money!

Comments about this coin? I am considering sending it to CAC, although I strongly suspect it has been to New Jersey already. Please share any Bechtler examples you have; I would enjoy seeing them.

Someday I would also love to acquire a nice California and Oregon Territorial specimen.

PCGS AU55. 134 Grains 21 Carat. K-27, Low R.5.


Comments

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,053 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That’s cool about your ancestors!
    I think the coin has too many hairlines and marks to sticker at CAC.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    AvocetAvocet Posts: 226 ✭✭✭✭

    @edwardjulio said:
    Great story about your family. Here is one of mine, K17:

    This is a great coin!!

    This is what I understand from my research into Bechtlers--

    I understand that the Secretary of the Treasury recommended that reduced-weight territorial gold coinage bear the Treasury authorization date — Christopher Bechtler complied to remain on good terms with the U.S. Treasury. August 1, 1834 is the date the U.S. Coinage Act was enacted. Earlier Bechtler $5 contained 150 grains of 20 Carat gold; therefore, after August 1, 1834, Bechtler had to reduce the gold content of the $5 piece to avoid minting coins that contained more than $5 worth of gold— this helped to protect the coins from being melted, and may explain why several Becthlers survived.

    Your coin has to be one of the nicest examples of the not-distant 20 from “C” — Congratulations!!!!

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting background story of your ancestry and association with the Bechtler gold. Nice coin. I do not have any of these, though I really like them. Cheers, RickO

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    Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,445 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 14, 2023 7:35AM

    Great coins in this thread. Here’s my one and only

    Mr_Spud

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    AllI got.


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