California Fractional

Beginning in 1852 small denomination gold coins were minted by jewelers, bankers, and others in California. Denominations consisted of 25 cents, 50 cents, and one dollar, made in octagonal and round shapes. Issues of the earlier years are often of fine workmanship and, relative to later issues, of heavy weight. Then around 1856 their use as small change in circulation declined with the result that most subsequent issues were produced as souvenirs.
Several books have been published on the series. The most recent and widely regarded reference is the Walter Breen and Ron Gillio “California Pioneer Fractional Gold.” Collector Jay Roe based used the Rarity Scale (R1 though R8) for each known issue based upon the frequency of which these coins appeared for sale in order to determine the survival rates on the number of specimens known.

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