'Lustrous' $38,000 Type Two Gold Dollar stars at Long Beach coin expo

Heritage Auctions' next extravaganza for numismatics is taking place on February 3-6 at its Official Auction for the Long Beach Expo, billed as "the world's largest coin show held in the heart of California."

More than 4,500 lots from close to 200 consignors are going under the hammer in a sale promising something for everyone; whether your tastes run to modern US Mint issues, classic commemorative coinage, early type, or gold rarities.

Among the auction's highlights is The Mesquite Collection, a small but impressive seven-piece collection of high-quality gold. Four of the coins form a complete gold proof set of 1908, alongside an 1855 Type Two Gold Dollar with "exceptionally lustrous surfaces."

The end of the Type Two gold dollar swiftly followed the beginning, as confirmed by expert numismatist Q David Bowers in his book A Guide Book of Gold Dollars.

The "lustrous" 1855 Type Two Gold Dollar 

"In an effort to create a motif that would strike up sharply and properly in 1856," writes Bowers, "Chief Engraver James B Longacre moved the lettering closer to the edge and redesigned the head of the obverse of the gold dollar ... (the Type II being an utter failure in this regard)."

This capped Type Two saw just three years of production, only two of them in Philadelphia. This specimen is from the second year, boasting "bright, sparkling mint luster with even reddish-gold colour," according to Heritage.

The coin is one of 65 known extant specimens, with 14 of those being of finer quality. With this example certified at "MS65" (or "gem uncirculated" quality) and other examples notching between $27,000-38,000 on the auction block, this specimen is likely to once again prove its worth in California.


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