This is the famous “Half Union” pattern $50 gold piece. It is unique and in the Smithsonian Institution. Both this coin and the one $50 Half Union that follows are. Jul 27, - The $50 gold half union coin is one of the rarest coins in US history. Reserve your very own copy of the Half Union Gold coin recreated. This is the famous half union or $50 gold coin with a head of Liberty wearing a coronet as designed by William Barber. The reverse design is virtually identical to.
Half union coin -
The Half Union was a proposed gold coin denomination with a face value of fifty dollars. Keep in mind, commemeratives are not intended as circulating money. When the San Francisco Mint opened in , local bankers petitioned the government to keep the denomination. Moreover, the Gold Rush accelerated the pace of settlement and development in the American West. Under the gold standard, this meant that the amount of money and wealth in the U. Mint branch in San Francisco in didn't alleviate the problem. Such a denomination was part of the original half union coin. Due to their rarity and oddity, these copper Half Union patterns still sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars to this day. Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions. At the time, half union coin
"wildcat banks" were springing up across the country. The best-known among these is the Panama Pacific commemorative half union, which was made in both round and octagonal eight-sided shapes. You can also find our podcast episode about this topic by following the link. These remain the largest gold coins ever struck by the United States government.
Half union coin -
Between the unreliability of wildcat banks and the use of privately-minted gold, you can get a glimpse of how different the economic landscape was back then. Keep in mind, commemeratives are not intended as circulating money. Linderman, a coin collector, ordered the coins produced for his own use. They were distributed "under the table" of course among collectors close to Linderman and Snowden. It was to measure nearly 51 mm in diameter. It was truly still frontier country at the time.