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The First Franc – a King’s Ransom

Gold coins are something special. While silver coins were for the most part the common means of exchange in the mundane world, gold coins were destined for greater things, in this case the ransom of a captured king and in essence the arrival of two great powers, England and France.  In the 13th century, gold coins…

The First U.S. Commemorative?  A Gold Rush Treasure Story

Image courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) While the 1892 Columbian Half Dollar is officially published as America’s first commemorative coin, there is another legendary issue that many argue is the true heir to this prestigious title:  The 1848 “CAL.” Gold Quarter Eagle.  The reason for this claim? The 1848 Gold piece was minted from the…

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