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California Fractional & Territorial Gold Coins

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California Fractional and Territorial Gold

Produced from 1849 to 1889, these gold coins were the smallest denomination of gold currency ever produced by the U.S. Mint. Also, because of gold's high value, these are physically the smallest coins in the history of U.S. coinage. Their small size makes them easy to store multiples of and are also a favorite to be made into jewelry.

Fractional gold is a unique purchase and would be a great addition to any coin collection. California fractional gold comes in quarter, half dollar and dollar denominations in circular and octagonal coins. These coins usually come in protective slabs with many being certified by PCGS or NGC to further enhance their collectibility.

During the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, gold was primarily mined in the form of nuggets, dust, and flakes, which were measured by weight. However, as mining operations became more sophisticated, gold deposits were also found in the form of veins or lodes within rock, and this required more advanced methods of extraction.

The use of "fractional gold" and "territorial gold" emerged during this time period in response to the need for more convenient and standardized forms of gold currency. Fractional gold was a form of currency that was minted in denominations smaller than the standard $20 gold piece, such as $1, $2.50, $3, $5, and $10 coins. These coins were easier to use in everyday transactions and were minted by private companies, as the United States Mint did not produce coins in these denominations until later in the 19th century.

Territorial gold, on the other hand, was produced by private mints in California and other western territories. These mints produced coins in denominations of $1, $2.50, $5, $10, and $20, and their designs often featured imagery related to the mining industry, such as miners, pickaxes, and ore carts. Territorial gold was not recognized as legal tender by the federal government, but it was widely accepted in commerce in the areas where it was produced.

Some examples of private mints that produced territorial gold in California during the Gold Rush era include the Moffat & Co. and the Kellogg & Humbert companies. These mints were eventually shut down by the federal government, as they were producing coins that were not authorized by the U.S. Mint. However, the coins they produced remain a popular and valuable collectible item among numismatists and history buffs.


California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush had a significant impact on the production of gold and other precious metals in the United States and around the world. In the years following the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848, California became the largest producer of gold in the United States and the world's leading producer of the metal.

The discovery of gold in California sparked a mass migration of people from all over the world to the region, including miners, entrepreneurs, and merchants. This influx of people led to the rapid growth of towns and cities throughout California and the development of new technologies and techniques for mining gold and other minerals.

As the demand for gold increased, so did the price of the metal, which incentivized mining operations in other parts of the world. The discovery of gold in Australia in 1851 and later in South Africa and Alaska led to increased production of the metal and helped to stabilize its price.

In addition to gold, the California Gold Rush also led to the discovery and production of other precious metals, including silver and copper. Silver mining became a significant industry in Nevada and other parts of the American West in the decades following the Gold Rush, while copper mining was also a major source of economic activity in the region.

Overall, the California Gold Rush had a profound impact on the global economy, contributing to the growth of industries and the development of new technologies, as well as shaping the cultural and social landscape of the American West.


Fractional and Territorial Gold from California

The surviving coins are sought after by collectors and investors alike. If California Fractional and Territorial Gold Coins are something you are interested in, check back with this category as new items will be added to the page when we get them in stock.

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