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Rare Money Blog

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The Larry H. Miller Collection of Mormon Gold Coinage

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist and Consignment Director

Author: James McCartney / Thursday, November 19, 2020 / Categories: United States Coin of the Week

The gold coins issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or the Mormons, are among the most prized and elusive relics of the Western Gold Rush era. Produced at the Deseret Assay Office in Salt Lake City, these coins were struck periodically from 1848 through 1861 using gold sourced from California and Colorado. Variances in weight and fineness drove many of these to be melted in the decades following their production, leaving few survivors to be cherished by collectors today.

The Larry H. Miller Collection of Mormon Gold is among the most significant such cabinets ever assembled.  While a single Mormon gold piece represents a significant achievement, a comprehensive suite has only been assembled in a handful of instances in the more than century and a half since these pieces left the Deseret Assay Office.    

The Green-Carter 1849 $10 in the Miller Collection is among the best preserved of only about 10 known, and joins the historic Jenks-Nygren 1849 $20 as the sole finest approved by CAC for their respective issues. In addition, the $2.50 and $5 denominations are represented by some of the most desirable survivors, including a glorious Mint State 1860 “Beehive” $5 that also sits alone at the pinnacle of the CAC Population Report.

Individually, these rarities from Salt Lake City are impressive, but together they represent an historic milestone in the field of Private and Territorial coinage. With its virtually unprecedented quality, the Larry H. Miller Collection will surely be remembered among the greatest presentations of Mormon gold ever offered at auction.

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