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    1857

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    1857 Fairmont Collection Coins

    Although the California Gold Rush had subsided by the late 1850s, a new movement was growing in America that would prove far more concerning and decidedly devastating. Division between the states was on the rise and an economic shock was on the horizon in 19th-century America when these 1857 Fairmont Collection coins were originally struck by the US Mint.

    1857 Liberty Half Eagles

    As tempers simmered beneath the surface prior to the Civil War, the US was going to experience an economic panic in September 1857 with the wreck of the S.S. Central America off the coast of South Carolina. When the Central America went down, it took with it countless gold ingots and US Eagle gold coins destined for banks on the East Coast.

    It was in this setting that the Philadelphia Mint issued 1857 $5 Liberty Half Eagle Gold Coins. Aside from national tensions and the later panic caused by the Central America’s sinking, the Philadelphia Mint 1857 Liberty Half Eagle Gold Coin stands out in its own right as a coin with a very low initial offering.

    Just one year earlier, Philadelphia struck more than 197,000 of these coins. By the eve of the Civil War in 1861, Philadelphia struck 688,000 of these coins. In 1857, however, it issued less than 100,000 of these $5 Liberty Half Eagles, making them a rare find in the 21st century.