Gold Dollar - Small in size
Big on history!


When the average person thinks of gold dollar coins they are probably thinking of the current Presidential Dollar program of the U.S. Mint. However, in the mid to late 1800's the United States Mint made an actual dollar coin made of gold. They spanned the years of 1849 to 1889.

The North Carolina and Georgia gold rushes of the 1830's spurred on production for these coins. In 1838 the U.S. Mint opened branches in Charlotte, NC and Dahlonega, GA and coinage began immediately. These branch mints only produced gold coins and were only
open 24 years from 1838 to 1861. Until 1829 North Carolina was the only state producing gold for our nation's coinage. North Carolina remained the largest domestic producer of gold until it was surpassed by the new finds at Sutter's Mill in 1848.

The first initial coins of this denomination have the distinction of being the smallest diameter coins the U.S. Mint ever produced. These gold liberty coins dated 1849 to 1854 only had a diameter of 13mm. These coins were not the lightest though, that prize goes to the silver three cent pieces of 1851 to 1873.

The U.S. Mint coined three distinct varieties of these coins. Here they are listed in sequential order.

Liberty Head Type (1849-1854)
Indian Head Type Small (1854-1856)
Indian Head Type Large (1856-1889)



Gold Dollar Back to Coin Collecting Homepage