1848 "CAL" $2.50 Gold Liberty NGC XF45
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1848 "CAL" $2.50 Gold Liberty NGC XF45

Mintage 1,389
The 1848 CAL. quarter eagle is one of the most famous 19th century gold issues and is unique in the federal gold series as the only coin with an added design inscription that specifically references the California Gold Rush. It is as much a part of the federal quarter eagle series as any other date, but it also has a rightful place among the Territorial gold issues of the Gold Rush period.

In December 1848, the military governor of California, Colonel R.B. Mason, shipped 230 ounces of California gold to Washington D.C. The gold was then delivered to Philadelphia Mint Director Robert M. Patterson, who was instructed to use a portion of it to strike a number of specially marked quarter eagles to commemorate the discovery of gold in California. This was the first California gold deposited at the Philadelphia Mint. Patterson struck 1,389 coins from the gold, and on each piece CAL. was punched into the field above the eagle. It is believed that as few as 75 examples of this issue may survive, across a wide range of grades and conditions. 

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