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Brief History of the Charlotte Mint

Inside This Report

•  Location of the First U.S. Minted Gold Coins
•  Collector Demand Growing for "C" Mint
•  We're Specialists in "C" Mint Gold Coins

Along about the 1790's, a young boy named Conrad Reed found a 17 pound shiny rock while playing in a creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

He lugged the coin home to show his folks. They liked the rock and used it for years as a doorstop. In 1802 Conrad's father took the rock to Fayetteville to have it examined. A jeweler recognized the rock immediately as a huge Gold Nugget.

The jeweler offered Reed $3.50 for the nugget. Being unaware of the value of this unusual rock, he took the offer and was pleased with his good fortune. About a year later, John found another giant nugget in the creek. This one weighed nearly 28 pounds. From this series of accidental Gold finds, word spread.

Across the Colonies a Cry was Heard, Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills!

U.S. First Gold Rush to the South
It was not California where the first big Gold finds were made, it was in the South. By 1820, the first U.S. Gold Rush to the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia was well underway. Almost 100 Gold mines were operational in just the 20 mile area around Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Mining and refining Gold was just the start of the process. The Gold finally had to be converted to a standard weight and size to have a trade value. 

That meant that the raw Gold was assayed, refined into pure bullion, and then struck into "standard" weight of coins so they could be used in commerce. 

Charlotte, Location of First Gold Coin Minted in the U.S.
This newly opened region quickly grew in wealth and prestige. Soon private mints like those of the Bechtler's opened to assay the Gold and Mint Coins for the area. You may be surprised to learn that the first Gold Coin minted in the United States was struck in Rutherfordton, North Carolina in 1831 and not at the Philadelphia Mint.  

People mining GoldDue to the huge volume of Gold being produced in the South and the poor state of roads back to the Philadelphia Mint or Northern Banks, the Gold industry lobbied for the U.S. Government to open an assay office and mint facilities in Charlotte. 

In 1836, a branch of the U.S. Mint opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. Only raw Gold was processed and refined until March 28, 1838, when the first $5 Gold half eagle was struck in Charlotte. Later that year the $2 1/2 quarter eagles were minted, and a small Gold dollar began production in 1849. It was this mint that produced all the Gold Coins for the U.S. government until the beginning of the Civil War in 1860. 

Charlotte Mint Production Quite Low
All coins struck at the Charlotte Mint bear the "C" Mint Mark and are today considered rare.   The record for production was set in 1847 when 84,151 five-dollar Gold pieces were coined.  Even that is a small number comparatively speaking, But amazingly, only 6,879 half eagles were minted the final year of operation in 1861. That number is extremely small. 

From an historic viewpoint, the Gold Coin totals issued by the Charlotte Mint were quite low. Many of these Gold Coins went into circulation immediately, replacing barter to conduct business between miners, general stores, saloon halls, banks and merchants throughout the Southeast. 

Today, coins bearing the famous "C" Mint Mark are hard to come by. Their scarcity is due to the timing of their mintage just prior to the Civil War. Much of the available Gold stored in the U.S. Treasury during the Civil War was used to purchase munitions from European countries. After the coins were shipped across the Atlantic, many countries melted down "C" mint coins into official coinage of their nation. 

During the Civil War, the Charlotte Mint was used as an army hospital and never opened again to Mint Coins after the Civil War. As a result, the mint produced Gold Coins for a mere 24 years in quantities that would be considered extremely low compared to later Gold Coin production of other mints from 1865 to 1933.The Charlotte Mint

Growing "C" Mint Collector Demand
Today, the surviving number of "C" Mint Gold coins from the Pre-Civil War Days is only a tiny fraction of the original mintages. Still fewer are on
MS-60 or better mint condition. In fact, of the total Charlotte mintages from 1838 to 1861, only a 1295 pieces are known to exist in grades MS-60 or higher. 

For the collector focused on rarity, it's hard to compare other U.S. branch mint coins to those issued in Charlotte. Since collectors always search out interesting coins with a unique history, and especially those that are quite rare, Gold Coins from the Charlotte Mint have attracted a large following of active "C" Mint Gold collectors in recent years. 

As a result, "C" Mint Gold Coins are among the most highly sought-after coins in the numismatic world today. As with any product that has a fixed and extremely limited supply, the growing demand can quickly move up prices in a hot coin market. And that's the primary reason we have urged those collectors who can afford the very rarest of collections to build sets of "C" Mint Gold. 

We Are Specialists in "C" Mint Gold Coins
Members of the Austin Buying Trust and several of the Rare Coin Specialists on our staff are noted authorities on Gold Coins issued by the Charlotte, Mint. Thanks to their expertise, we are able from time to time to acquire certified authentic examples of these classic "Pre-Civil War" Era Gold pieces. But they sell out almost immediately. 

Several of our most distinguished Preferred Collectors are in the process of completing collections of Charlotte Mint Gold. It's like to take them years to complete the process. The fascinating, little-know history of the first Gold Rush, the early American date range of Gold coins from 1838 to 1861, and the geographic location of the coins make it both fun and profitable to acquire "C" Mint Gold Coins. 

For questions about how you can get started, we invite you to call us at:
1-800-928-6468 and speak with one of our Rare Coin Specialists. 

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Recommended Websites of Austin Rare Coins, Inc.
U.S. Precious Metals IRA | Silver Coins & Bullion | Austin Rare Coins & Bullion | U.S. Silver Dollars
Rare Coin Hall of Fame | Live Gold & Silver Prices | American Eagles Research | U.S. Mint History | Shipwreck Coins
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