- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 6, 2005

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A coin owned by generations of a California family has been confirmed as one of only 12 known existing “Quarter Eagle” coins, which were made of Gold Rush ore at the San Francisco Mint in 1854.

“The coin is only about the size of a dime and contains just one-eighth ounce of California gold, but I guarantee it will be worth much more than its weight in gold when it’s sold at the auction,” said John Kraljevich, director of research at American Numismatic Rarities, which authenticated the coin and will auction it Sept. 18.

The seller, who wants to remain anonymous, descends from Chinese immigrants who worked the California gold fields. The seller’s great-grandfather acquired it between 1856 and 1858, said Mr. Kraljevich. Only one of the dozen known examples is in better condition. The others all are owned by collectors.

Only 246 Quarter Eagles were made in 1854, said Douglas Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs. Many $10 and $20 coins were struck, but smaller denominations were in less demand, so fewer $5 Half Eagles and $2.50 denomination Quarter Eagles were made.

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