The 1849-C “Open Wreath” Liberty Gold Dollar (Buy on eBay) ranks as the rarest of all gold dollars, the rarest coin ever produced by the Charlotte Mint, and among the rarest of all United States gold coins. Although the total mintage is unknown, only 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 mintage of 11,634 pieces was produced with the “Closed Wreath” reverse while only a small portion was struck with the “Open Wreath” reverse. The “Open Wreath” variety remained unknown to numismatists until its discovery more than eight decades later in 1933 by Waldo Newcomer.
The finest known specimen is currently graded PCGS MS-62. The same piece was previously graded NGC MS-63 PL when it realized $690,000 at auction in July 2004 and subsequently sold privately for a price close to seven figures. After crossing over to the PCGS MS-62 holder, the coin sold for $528,750 in 2016. The remaining four known specimens are in lower grades ranging from Fine to About Uncirculated.
- Designer: James B. Longacre
- Composition: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
- Weight: 1.672 grams
- Diameter: 13 mm
- Edge: Reeded