Templeton Reid, 2 and 12 Dollars, 1830

Description
Before the famous California gold rush, several important strikes were made in the East: in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The earliest took place in Mecklenburg County, N.C., in 1799, where a nugget weighing several pounds was discovered. Its finder used it as a doorstop until someone recognized it for what it was! Discoveries multiplied, and a federal branch Mint was eventually set up in Charlotte to process the metal into coinage.
Discoveries in Georgia and North Carolina in the 1820s received wide publicity, and a "gold fever" resulted. Thousands of people began trekking to the areas in search of instant wealth. Most returned home empty-handed, but successful prospectors found millions of dollars' worth of precious metal. What should they do with their new wealth? Many felt the Philadelphia Mint was too far away for safe travel, and the government wasn't ready to create other coining facilities.
A jack-of-all-trades named Templeton Reid had an answer: strike private gold coins, at a private mint. Reid had extensive experience as a watchmaker, gunsmith, and metalworker. In July 1830, he set up shop in the Georgia hamlet of Milledgeville, and began his brief career as private moneyer-the first since Ephraim Brasher.
Reid struck about a thousand of the $2.50 denomination. As with the larger $10 and $5 dollar denominations, most were later melted down and re-coined by the U.S. Mint. We can trace fewer than twenty-five survivors, including this one.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
coin
date made
1830
maker
Templeton Reid
Physical Description
gold (overall material)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
Measurements
overall: 17.9 mm; 23/32 in
place of issue
United States: Georgia
ID Number
NU*68.159.1183
accession number
283645
catalog number
68.159.1183
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Legendary Coins
Coins
Numismatics
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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