Bechtler Coinage, Southern Territories, c.1831-1852
The Bechtlers, an immigrated family of German metallurgists, operated a private mint near and in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, from 1831 to about 1852. Although none of their minted coinage depicts the year minted, it is widely believed the father, son and a nephew issued gold coins in three denominations – each responsible for his own design and during certain periods, some overlapping each other. In their first nine years of operation alone, we have records showing that together, the Bechtlers turned out some $2,241,850.50 worth of gold coins.
As with the issues released by Templeton Reid, the Bechtler operations represented a true necessity for coinage, as was the case with most privately made gold coins of the time. Bechtler coins was accepted and passed at face value in all of Western North Carolina, South Carolina, Western Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of Virginia up to and throughout the Civil War.
The private North Carolina coinage is distinctive because its manufacture was indirectly responsible for the establishment of the two branch U.S. mints for coining gold, located at Charlotte, N.C., and Dahlonega, Ga., both of which opened in 1838.