1850 gold Liberty Head $1 coins offer a mixed bag of opportunities for coin collectors who savor both rare and more common gold coinage. The gold Liberty Head $1 coin, which was the smallest coin the United States Mint has ever produced In 1849, weighs in at only 1.672 grams and measures a tiny 13 millimeters in diameter; for perspective, a modern-day U.S. dome is 17.9 millimeters across. The $1 gold coin was designed by United States Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, whose name you might recognize from the Indian Head cent and two-cent coins.
Here’s a rundown of mintages and values for the 1850 $1 gold coins:
1850, 481,953 minted – $250
1850-C, 6,966 – $1,150
1850-D, 8,382 – $1,350
1850-O, 14,000 – $330
*Values are for coins in Fine condition, unless otherwise noted.
1850-C (Charlotte) and 1850-D (Dahlonega, GA) $1 gold coins are much scarcer than their Philadelphia and New Orleans cousins. In fact, the Charlotte and Dahlonega mints would strike relatively few gold $1 coins during the 1849-1889 minting period for this coin series. Therefore, you should take every precaution when you buy C- and D-mint $1 coins and be sure that the pieces you’re buying are wholly authentic. It’s usually best to buy pre-1934 gold U.S. coinage from a reputable coin dealer or as slabbed, third-party-graded pieces.