Here’s an opportunity for one fortunate collector to own a RARE high-quality piece of California gold rush history! Before the San Francisco Mint was established in 1854 to serve the rapidly expanding West Coast economy and population, a U.S. Assay Office in San Francisco struck $10 and $20 gold pieces with California gold rush ore to help alleviate a critical shortage of coins. First struck with varying purity, the Assay Office gold coins were standardized to 90% fine in late 1852 until operations ceased in December 1853 in preparation for the opening of the new mint.
The obverse of this museum-quality 1853 Assay Office $20 gold piece features a spread-winged eagle with a shield and ribbon inscribed <span style="font-variant: small-caps">liberty</span>. The denomination is stated below as <span style="font-variant: small-caps">twenty d</span> and the 90% purity is stated above as <span style="font-variant: small-caps">united states assay office of gold san francisco california 1853</span>. Due to periodic melting, less than 1,000 of these 1853 Assay Office $20 issues are believed to exist – and we have just one of these coins available. Own this major gold rush rarity in PCGS certified Uncirculated MS-60 condition!