One of the Showcase auctions now open for bidding from Heritage Auctions is the July 22 California Fractional Gold Showcase Auction, a selection of 58 pieces of California fractional gold.
These very small coins, privately struck in California from the 1850s to the 1880s, were minted in both octagonal and round shapes. Obverses commonly depict Liberty, an Indian, or George Washington. Nearly half of the coins in this auction are tiny gold 25 cent pieces, the smallest of the small; others coins represented in this auction have denominations of 50 cents and $1. While these fractional gold coins are often quite rare from an absolute basis, they are not especially expensive, with many issues selling for under $500.
One particularly interesting piece in this auction is lot 91058, an 1872-dated Indian Head Round Dollar, a rare (Lor R.6) Period Two piece struck by prolific San Francisco maker C.F. Mohrig. Unusually, it displays the inscription TOKEN on the reverse below 1 DOLLAR. The Breen-Gillio reference calls this variety “The only piece in the series to proclaim itself a token, from fear of prosecution following the Hershfield and Mitchell arrests.” This PCGS-graded Select example displays reflective fields and well-struck motifs with bright straw-gold color. Only minor signs of handling are evident.
Some of the other notable offerings in this auction include:
- 1856 Liberty Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-307, High R.5, MS64 NGC
- 1872/1 Indian Round 25 Cents, BG-870, R.3, MS67 Deep Prooflike NGC
- 1881 Indian Round 25 Cents, BG-887, R.3, MS68 Deep Prooflike NGC
- 1876 Indian Round 50 Cents, BG-1060, High R.5, MS66 Deep Prooflike NGC
- 1870 Liberty Octagonal 1 Dollar, BG-1107, R.5, MS64 Prooflike PCGS
Bidding is open now and continues until the live session at 6 PM CT on July 22. Bid on these coins exclusively at Coins.HA.com.