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Questions for the Dahlonega experts

jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭

I just purchased an 1860-D gold dollar from DW....two questions for the D mint experts:

  1. Why was the 1860-D so poorly struck? By 1860 they had been minting coins for 20 years...

  2. When Georgia seceded from the Union in early 1861 and the Confederacy took over the D mint...did they use the same mint employees to make the coins for 1861? Was it just an ownership change like a corporate take-over...because the quality of the 61-Ds seems higher than the 60-Ds...

Thanks!!!

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2017 9:49AM

    The number of years that the Dahlonega Mint was in operation had nothing to do with the quality of the coins it made. The 1838-D half eagle, which was the first coin the mint made, was very well struck. According to the newspaper articles the local minters took great price in their work. Some of the later coins were well made too.

    The golden age for the Dahlonega Mint was when James Cooper was the director. He was a West Point graducate, and he really got the operation on a tight schedule. Depositors got their gold coins back within a week, and the quality of the coins was generally quite good. Then the Whigs won the 1848 presidential election and Cooper was out. The mint did not runas well after that.

    I am guessing that the Philadelphia Mint did not send any new obverse (head side) dies to Dahlonega over the last three years of the mintage. Therefore they ended up using the old woren out die with the weak "U" in "UNITED" for the 1859 to 1861 period. The 1858-D gold dollar is actually very nice. Here is an example.


    The 1860-D half eagle was pretty well made too.


    The half eagle was the coin of choice for the Dahlonega Mint employees. They did their bast work with them and were able to do a good job with setting up the press properly. From what I've read they really disliked making quarter eagles.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    jonrunsjonruns Posts: 1,196 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2017 11:41AM

    @BillJones said:

    I am guessing that the Philadelphia Mint did not send any new obverse (head side) dies to Dahlonega over the last three years of the mintage. Therefore they ended up using the old worn out die with the weak "U" in "UNITED" for the 1859 to 1861 period. The 1858-D gold dollar is actually very nice.

    Great photos and explanation. I'll never be able to afford a 61-D $1...but from the photos that I see on Heritage...some of them them have a stronger "U" and "N"...than the 60-D...maybe they got a new obverse die in late 1860?

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Check out the "U" on the 1859-D gold dollars in "Coin Facts." It is heading toward weak.

    I know from old auction catalogs that the same obverse die was used to strike the 1860-D and 1861-D gold dollars.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    RegulatedRegulated Posts: 2,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dahlonega and Charlotte were staffed with appointees, so whenever the director was changed, the employees changed as well. George Kellogg was appointed Director in 1860, and apparently his friends were hacks.


    What is now proved was once only imagined. - William Blake
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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2017 2:31PM

    Die shipment data is likely in RG104 entry 216 vol 19 or 20. These have not as yet been fully digitized. Letters might also be in RG104 Entry 1, but also in letters not digitized.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Intriguing how politics/history affected coin manufacturing... however we see it in so many areas. Cheers, RickO

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    BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good read would be "Neighborhood Mint"

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    TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    wow, I would have guess a VF.

    Some die wear.

    Frank

    BHNC #203

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:
    Good read would be "Neighborhood Mint"

    I learned alot from that book.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    dengadenga Posts: 903 ✭✭✭

    Two pairs of 1861-dated dollar dies were shipped to Dahlonega in December
    1860 and received there on January 7. The die figures of 1855–1861 for this
    mint can be found in the November 1968 issue of the Numismatic Scrapbook
    Magazine
    .

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