1787 Brasher Doubloon with Unique EB on Breast Gold Rush Gallery, Inc.
1787 Brasher Doubloon with Unique EB on Breast Unique, "EB on Breast"
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Dahlonega Mint Sets

3 or 4 Coin Denominational Type Sets

A popular way to collect Dahlonega Coins is to acquire one coin each of the one dollar, quarter eagle, and half eagle.

This approach is sometimes taken by the "type collector" or "gold type collector" who only wants one example of each type for their collection. It may also be a good choice for the aspiring Dahlonega collector who wants to start in a conservative fashion (to see if the "fever" takes hold). All three denominations include rare dates, as well as more common dates, so most collectors emphasize quality when assembling this set, and focus on the more common dates (the latter choice for monetary and availability reasons).

This is a good introductory set and, as mentioned above, is often a stepping stone to the more ambitious expanded sets. Another option for this set is to purchase all three coins with the same date (choices include 1849-1857 and 1859). Thus, for a given year (except 1854, which also had a three dollar piece), one can truly say that he or she has a complete collection of Dahlonega gold for that year. For most years, this approach will be more expensive than simply purchasing the common dates.

This basic three coin denominational type set can be expanded to four coins with the addition of the very rare 1854-D $3 gold coin. This is a one-year-only type coin and only 1,120 coins were struck. This coin can easily cost $8,000.00 to 18,000.00 in the very fine to extremely fine grade range. If price is no object and the collector is patient, then the Dahlonega pieces of 1854 would make a very impressive four coin denominational type sets.

Expanded 9 Coin Set

This set includes one example of each of the nine major type coins struck at the Dahlonega Mint.

Denomination

Variety

Available dates

$1 Type 1 Gold Dollar (1849-1854)
$1 Type 2 Gold Dollar (1855 only)
$1 Type 3 Gold Dollar (1856-1861)
$2 Classic Head Quarter Eagle (1839 only)
$2 Coronet Head Quarter Eagle (1840-1857, 1859)
$3 Three Dollar Gold (1854 only)
$5 Classic Head Half Eagle (1838 only)
$5 Coronet Head Half Eagle, Obverse Mintmark (1839 only)
$5 Coronet Head Half Eagle, Reverse Mintmark (1840-1861)


This set is one of the real pleasures of collecting Dahlonega coins. These nine major types dramatically illustrate a complete record of the Dahlonega Mint coinage designs. Since it is virtually impossible to build this set in mint state condition most collectors seek coins that grade in the extremely fine-40 to about uncirculated-55 range.

Complete Denominational Sets

Some collectors prefer some denominations to others and decide to focus on that denomination alone.

One Dollar Set

The very small size of the gold dollars, the fact that this series includes several major rarities, and the fact that many of the gold dollars have mint-made imperfections makes this series less popular than the half eagles and quarter eagles. The Dahlonega gold dollars have the dubious distinction of being among the most crudely struck coins the U.S. has ever produced. However, to the specialist, this adds to the romance and charm. Additionally, the low mintages (only one date, 1849-D, has a mintage over 10,000) can be quite appealing.

Quarter Eagle Set

Quarter eagles sets can be quite popular with collectors. This popularity results from their larger size, the low mintages of most of the dates (when compared to half eagles), and the challenge of completing the set (especially in grades above extremely fine). The twenty coins needed for completion is a nice, round number which makes for a very impressive display. Drawbacks include the fact that several of the dates, especially 1840-1842 and 1852-1856, can be very elusive and expensive in higher grades.

Half Eagle Set

The most popular of the denominational sets with collectors is the half eagle set. Such a set would consist of as few as twenty-four coins, or more with the previously discussed major die varieties. The popularity of the half eagle set stems from the fact that the coins are the largest denomination minted at Dahlonega, are the most available and reasonably priced as a denomination, and make for a large, impressive display.  

Complete Sets

For the fortunate few who really succumb to the "gold fever" (including some that started out in a limited way as described above), a complete set of Dahlonega gold is the closest thing to a cure.

A "bare bones" complete set of Dahlonega coins totals 58 pieces: twenty-four half eagles, twenty quarter eagles, one three dollar piece, and thirteen one dollar pieces. Five of these coins are one-year types: the 1838-D and 1839-D half eagles, the 1839-D quarter eagle, the 1854-D three dollar piece, and the 1855-D (type two) one dollar piece.

Some complete sets are known to contain 59 coins, including both varieties of the 1842-D half eagle (the small date, small letters and the large date, large letters).

Most active Dahlonega collectors consider 60 coins to be a complete set, which also includes both varieties of the 1846-D half eagle (the normal mintmark and the D/D mintmark).

Gold Rush Gallery believes that the trend is toward the complete set also containing the 1848-D/D half eagle, which brings the total to 61 coins.

Some collectors also choose to include other die variety favorites in their complete sets, which pushes the total to 62 coins and beyond.

Assembling a complete set is a challenging and ambitious undertaking. Given the extremely low surviving population, only a few complete sets can be built. The assembling of a complete set is an extremely rewarding collecting goal. For over thirty years our primary mission, and great privilege, has been to work with dedicated collectors who have assembled complete sets of Dahlonega gold coins. Several of these individuals have also completed Charlotte gold sets. One individual, the late Joe M. Almand, Sr. assembled multiple sets of both mints.

Collecting by Die Varieties

Advanced collectors sometimes prefer to collect by die varieties, focusing on the more interesting and significant of these. Sometimes, this course of action is used in conjunction with building one of the previously mentioned sets. In other words, the collector sets out to acquire major die varieties whenever possible in coin purchases, regardless of the type of set one is working on. Douglas Winter's Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint 1838-1861 is an excellent guide for the serious die variety collector. More about collecting die varieties will be discussed in the section on Purchase Strategy.


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