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Guess the Grade of This 1856 Gold Dollar “Upright 5” From the Deadwood Collection


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Can you guess the grade of this interesting U.S. gold dollar from 1856?

In 1856, the United States Mint struck gold dollars with two distinctly different date logotypes.

The “Slanted 5” variety, which is the much more frequently encountered version, features an italicized 5. This had been the style employed by the Mint through the first six years of the 1850s. The other style, “Upright 5”, cut a more up-and-down figure.

What’s interesting is that you can see with the spacing of the 18 and 6 that there was room on the date punch for that slanted 5.

This coin comes from the Deadwood Collection and was loaned to us by Julian Leidman of Julian Leidman Coins, who is selling this important property on behalf of collector and researcher Craig Krueger. Krueger, along with numismatists JP Martin, David Akers, and John Dannreuther, recognized the scarcity of the Upright 5 over the Slanted 5, but it wasn’t until recent years that collectors really got the sense of how scarce they are.

The Deadwood Collection, assembled over two decades, grew to just over 150 coins. This may represent half of the total examples of the variety in existence.

The strike characteristics of this piece include full denticles and rims, but it does feature softness on the U of United and the E in America and some flatness on the 5 in the date. It appears to be in original condition with a few minor hits on the obverse. Sporadic breaks in luster on both sides, more noticeable on the reverse, which has fewer protected areas.

So what grade do you give this 1856 Gold Dollar? Leave your answer in the comments and we’ll be back next week to let you know how you did.

CoinWeek editor Charles Morgan narrates.

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Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker’s 100 Greatest Modern World Coins has gotten five-star reviews on Amazon and Lou Golino and David T. Alexander both gave the book their highest recommendations.

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Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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