Coin Specifications

Category: Gold Dollars (1849-1889)
Mint: Philadelphia
Catalog: KM-83
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.6720g
AGW: 0.0484oz
Melt Value: $60.04 (2/13/2016)
Diameter: 15mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1855 G$1 PF obverse 1855 G$1 PF reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The story of the short and ill-fated Type Two gold dollar is really a story of miscalculation on the part of Mint Engraver James Longacre. When redesigning the coin in 1854, he chose a variant of the three dollar gold piece. This is a design that Longacre repeated throughout most of his career and included not only the three dollar and Type Three gold dollars, but also included such diverse pieces as the double eagle, the Indian Head cent, the three cent nickel, several pattern nickels, and finally the pattern eagles from 1868 that he engraved only a few months before his death. Longacre's miscalculation was twofold. First, he designed Liberty's head in high relief, and second, he overestimated the power of the coining presses then in use. These miscalculations had varying effects, depending upon where the coins were struck. Pieces minted in the Philadelphia facility generally showed at least some weakness in the center of the obverse on Liberty's hair, and the corresponding area on the reverse: the LL in DOLLAR and the middle digits of the date. However, the striking definition on coins produced in Charlotte and Dahlonega was even more unsatisfactory, with only a short time in circulation necessary to unduly wear down the design elements. Clearly, something had to be done, and the design was changed again in 1856.

The dies for the Type Two gold dollar were completely hubbed except for the dates and mintmarks, which had to be entered by hand, as usual. As a result, the proofs produced the previous year and also in 1855, do not show evidence of these miscalculations. Only eight pieces have been positively pedigreed and two of those are permanently impounded, one in the Smithsonian and the other in the ANS holdings.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/28/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1855 G$1 PF
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - 325000 - - - - -
1855 G$1 PF Cameo
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 150000 - - - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1855 G$1 PF Ultra Cameo
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 475000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 4
Low Grade: 62
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/3/2007 PCGS PF 66   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions 2007 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #422, 422/Lot# 3100 $316,250.00
1/9/2008 PCGS PF 66   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions 2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #454, 454/Lot# 3051 $373,750.00
6/1/2011 NGC PF 62   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2011 June Long Beach Signature US Coin Auction Session(3), 1156/Lot# 4462 $126,500.00
1/3/2012 NGC PF 62   Cameo Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(5), 1166/Lot# 4709 $132,250.00
9/23/2013 NGC PF 66   Ultra Cameo Bonhams The Tacasyl Collection of Magnificent United States Proof Gold Coins, 20992/Lot# 1000 $409,500.00
9/23/2013 NGC PF 66   Ultra Cameo Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20992/Lot# 1000 $397,800.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1855 G$1 PF
1855 G$1 PF Cameo
1855 G$1 PF Ultra Cameo
Registry Image Gallery

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