Does anyone know what this coin is?
I found an old coin in my great grandmother’s collection, and I was wondering what exactly it is. I did research and I didn’t come up with a good answer. On the front, it has a picture of lady liberty, and it was minted in 1859. The back part of the coin that I provided is the most telling part, which says “California gold” and “1/2.” Can anyone identify what this coin is and what it might be worth?
- skeptikLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
At the beginning of the gold rush period, California was still a territory, and didn't have enough coinage in circulation to meet the need of all those miners and suppliers. So various non-government entities started minting their own "coins" or "tokens" which went into use there, but were never legal tender in the rest of the country.
Once the state was admitted to the Union, the U.S. Mint increased production to handle it, and eventually (in 1862) outlawed these coins - but they continued to be used.
The one in your photo is probably a gold half-dollar, and if genuine and in good condition, could be worth several hundred dollars. Unfortunately, because of the interest in the story, a LOT of souvenir replicas have been made and sold, so chances aren't good.
Definitely get it authenticated and valued. You could be very happy with the result.
- A.J.Lv 72 months ago
I think it's some kind of souvenir.
Probably a brass plated fake coin, brass worn off