1849-C “Open Wreath” Liberty Gold Dollar

The 1849-C “Open Wreath” Liberty Gold Dollar is the rarest of all gold dollars and also considered to be one of the rarest of all United States gold coins. Although the total mintage is unknown, only four are five specimens are known to exist.

During the first year that the new gold denomination was produced at the Charlotte Mint, two different reverse dies were used. The vast majority of the total mintage of 11,634 pieces was produced with the “Close Wreath” while only a small portion struck with the “Open Wreath”, perhaps only as a short trial run. The “Open Wreath” variety actually remained unknown to numismatists until its discovery more than eight decades later in 1933 by Waldo Newcomer.

Auction appearances are for this issue are very infrequent, with the sole uncirculated example graded NGC MS 63 PL realizing $690,000 at an auction in July 2004. The same coin was reportedly later sold privately for a sum in the seven figures. The other coins in existence grade XF while a single PCGS AU-58 has been certified.