1842-D LIBERTY HEAD $2.5 AU53
VERY SCARCE DAHLONAGA GOLD. JUST 4,643 STRUCK.
As a town known by few beside its residents and students at the North Georgia University campus, Dahlonega, Georgia was a huge hotspot in its earliest years and would be nothing without its gold. First discovered a whopping forty-four years before the California Gold Rush by a deer hunter just south of today’s city limits in 1828 Dahlonega was the premiere gold rush location in the United States. In fact, the town had not even been founded until after the population settled in the location and was named Talonega by the Georgia General Assembly in 1833. Several years of consistent gold boom and the surrounding culture called for a name change by 1837 when the town was renamed Dahlonega from the Cherokee word Dalonige which meant “yellow” or “gold.” As a result of the areas’ gold production, it became apparent that this city needed a branch mint to make coin production more economical and avoid potential theft during transportation to the main mint in Philadelphia. The Dahlonega mint was finished and in operation by 1838 and only minted gold coins in the one dollar, quarter eagle ($2.5), three dollar, and half eagle ($5) denominations. The quarter eagle denomination had been around since the earliest days of the mint and continued to be an economical favorite until 1929. This beautiful coin featured the classic Lady Liberty head designed by German engraver Christian Gobrecht that had been uniformly placed on all similar gold coin series. It was one of the first denominations to be struck at five different mints through its circulation: Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Dahlonega, and Charlotte. Additionally, this coin still holds the record for the longest unchanged design production at sixty-eight years, which was a feat for early coins before the federal minimum circulation law restricted frequent design changes.