In the September 2023 issue of The Mint Master from the Utah Numismatic Society, Editor Doug Nyholm published a review of the new book by Don Kagin and David McCarthy on pioneer gold coins. With permission, we're republishing it here. Thank you!
The book on Pioneer and Territorial gold has arrived.
This follows up Donald Kagin's 1981 book on territorial
gold, but as stated, is not a second edition. This book is
a work that should appeal to everyone who is interested
in history, numismatics, and gold coinage whether they
have ever owned, or desire to own a piece of history
from the many territorial and private mints that operated
in our nation from 1786 to 1862.
This is more than a reference book, it is a beautiful cof-
fee table sized book which displays virtually every gold
coin privately minted in the United States. Each page or
pages have oversize images of the top graded examples
of the type and variety from each mint. Additionally, as
the majority of these masterpieces from private mints are
rare or very rare, their rarity ratings and comments about
known examples are stated. Also, each mint has a multi-
page historical writeup and each of its coins are de-
The book is formatted in chronological order beginning
with the Brasher Doubloons of 1786 then onto the southern mints of Templeton Reed and Christopher Bechtler. Next the mints in Oregon and Utah (Mormon) who struck some of the earliest coins from California gold. Notably the Mormon $20 coin was the first of that denomination ever struck in the United States. Extensively covered is the California controversy and government intervention beginning in 1850 and the state assay office and regulation of private coinage. The Moffatt and Humbert coinage among others leading to the establishment of the San Francisco mint are well discussed. Finally the coins which came from the Colorado gold rush emanating from Clark & Gruber and others followed by the final coin from Utah and the Mormons are discussed.
The book is published in an oversize coffee table size of 12x10 and printed in high quality heavyweight paper in full color. There, in addition to outstanding pictures of each coin are included many historical photographs in each chapter. Each coin is shown enlarged to several times its original size to show all the details as well as pictured in its original size. The book consists of 232 pages and has a list price of $99.99. It can be ordered directly from Kagins online or by calling 888-852-4467. Once again, this is a book that belongs on
the bookshelf of every serious collector and historian.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NEW BOOK: AMERICA'S GOLDEN AGE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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