10 Dollar Miners Bank Coin, 1849

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This ten dollar gold coin was minted by the Miners Bank of San Francisco in 1849. James Marshall’s 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill kicked off the California gold rush and changed the wealth and reach of the nation, as suddenly gold was in abundant supply and the population was shifting westward. With the plentiful gold, private companies sprang up to supply coinage for the growing population and burgeoning economy. One such company was the Miners Bank, founded in 1849. The bank issued both coins and notes, but when the coins were assayed at only .866 fineness they soon fell into disfavor and could only be redeemed at a 20% discount. Many of the coins were melted down and remade into official U.S. slugs. On the obverse, or front, is an eagle with spread wings and a breast shield, with 13 stars and “California” also printed above. On the reverse is printed “Miners, Bank” at the top and “Ten. D.” in the center, with “San Francisco” below and two stars in the center.
date made
place made
United States: California
place of issue
United States: California
Physical Description
gold (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
overall: .2 cm x 2.5 cm; 3/32 in x 31/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Estate of Josiah K. Lilly
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
American Enterprise
Coins, Currency and Medals
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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