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United States Fractional & Pioneer Gold Coins

Fractional gold coins were privately-issued coins created to fuel the pioneer Old West, which suffered from a lack of sufficient coinage until the San Francisco Mint opened in 1854. Collectors break these coins down into three periods of issue: period one was from 1852 to 1856, period two includes coins from 1859 to 1882, and period three was from 1883 until sometime in the early 1900s. Period three coins are difficult to accurately date because these coins were backdated by their creators to avoid attention.

Period one fractional coins are typically the most sought after by collectors, as they exist at an interesting crossroads in history. Commerce in the Old West economy was crippled, as the only functional national mints were back east and shipments of coins were often targeted by... Read more

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