Gold Dollar -> 1855-C


  • Gold Dollars 1849 - 1859
  • Type Two 1855
  • Diameter: 14.3 millimeters
  • Fineness: .900
  • Weight: 25.8 grains
  • Designer: James Barton Longacre
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Coiner: ??

In 1854, the size and design of the gold dollar was changed. The so-called Type Two design was struck at the Charlotte Mint only in 1855. This is perhaps the most popular gold dollar from this mint due to its status as a one-year issue. But, it is the worst struck coin in this series and it can be ranked as one of the worst-produced coins ever produced in the United States. Nearly every known example has a weak, irregular strike and is found on an inferior quality planchet. Of the 100 or so which exist, only a dozen can properly be graded About Uncirculated. A tiny number of Mint State 1855-C gold dollars have been graded but even experts in this series are divided as to the true grade(s) of these pieces. A high grade 1855-C gold dollar is an essential component of any serious collection of Charlotte coins.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, ex Bowers and Merena 3/94: 1557, Avena Rare Coin Co., Stack's Reed Hawn collection sale (10/93): 884, purchased privately from Stack's by Reed Hawn in the 1960's. Later graded MS-62 by NGC.
  2. Private collection, ex Kidder Peabody Rare Coin Fund, Jesse Lipka, David Akers Auction 89: 1343, Mid American Rare Coin Auctions 5/88: 1049. Later graded MS-61 by PCGS. This coin was plated in the first edition of this book.
  3. North Georgia collection. Graded MS-60 by NGC.
  4. North Georgia collection, ex Stack's 12/94: 1158. Later graded AU-58 by NGC. Very choice for the grade.
  5. Bill House collection, ex Stack's James Stack sale (10/94): 776. About Uncirculated-58. Graded AU-55 by PCGS but an AU-58 coin in my opinion.

NOTE: As of October, 1997, the NGC Census Report indicated that 11 examples of this date had been graded AU-58. It is my belief that this includes a significant number of resubmissions and overgraded individual specimens. The 1855-C gold dollar, despite the numbers in this report, remains a very rare coin in accurately graded AU-55, let alone in AU-58.