Description and Analysis


Description & Analysis

After their first run of five and ten-dollar coins in 1852, Wass, Molitor and Co. halted their production of coinage with the hopes that the San Francisco Mint would finally begin striking the amount of gold coinage required for commerce. Unfortunately, this was not the case. In fact, due to a lack of necessary assaying supplies, the mint closed its doors in 1855.

This closure once again put strain on the few gold coins currently in circulation,and local bankers convinced Wass and Molitor to begin striking coins again. While no further five-dollar pieces were struck, ten, twenty, and fifty dollar coins were issued.

The $20 coins struck by Wass and Molitor are often found well circulated, indicating that they were well-received in the course of normal commerce. As was the case with the 1852 issues, many likely ended up being melted and converted into Federal coinage. The Large Head examples are far scarcer than those coins of the Small Head variety.