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One of the Great American Numismatic Books of All Time, with Special Relevance for the California Gold Rush and Mormon Coins.
Superb book on gold and coinage, by the official assayers of the Philadelphia Mint, Jacob R. Eckfeldt and William E. Du Bois. The book was called by Wheat (Gold Rush, 67) "An extraordinary and colorful souvenir of the Gold Rush" and is notable for, among other things, its inclusion of a sample of real gold, so that a novice can differentiate between alloyed and unalloyed gold ("The people of California understand this, from the comparison of bars and coins made there, with the native grains. We need not send coals to Newcastle; but on our side of the Union, small samples will be interesting." page 45).
The final page of the work, presumably prepared just after the rest of the work had been completed, relates details of Mormon coins recently received by the authors:
Have just received, through a gentleman who came overland from Great Salt Lake in eighty-one days. They consist of 20, 10, 5, and 2½ dollar pieces. In fineness they are about 899 thous., with little variation; and they contain only the native silver alloy. The weights are more irregular, and the values very deficient. The 20 dollar piece weights from 486 to 453 grains, value $16 90 to $17 53. The 10 dollar, 219 to 224 grains, $8 50 to $8 70. The 5 dollar, about 111 grains, $4 30. The 2½ dollar, about 48 grains, $2 25.
On one side of the coins is HOLINESS TO THE LORD, with a large eye, and something like a mitre; on the other, two hands in friendly grasp, with the date 1849, and a legend containing the alleged value, and the initials G.S.L.C.P.G., meaning GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, PURE GOLD. The ten dollar piece has PURE GOLD, in full.
The table of contents on the back cover enumerates the sections as follows:
I. New Rate of Mint Charges. II. Recent Coins of the World. III. Recent Counterfeit Coins. IV. Gold from California (with samples.) V. General Table of Coins with Mint Values. VI. Silver from Lake Superior. VII. Table of fractions of an ounce. VIII. Bulk and Packing of Precious Metals. IX. Valuation of gold or silver specimens in the rock. X. Payments for Bullion at the U.S. Mint.
Authors' inscription to F. Peale on front flyleaf: "F. Peale Esq. with respects of The authors Feb. 14: 1850" C.K. McClatchy (of the McClatchy Newspapers family); His sale, Witherell's Auctions, September 16, 2020
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