Augustus Bechtler $5 CAROLINA gold 134.G. 21ct PCGS XF45 (K-27). Struck between 1842 and 1852, these were coins that had such confidence shared within the Confederacy that they circulated throughout the Civil War. This is a highly appealing, “collector quality” example of a popular and scarce issue. There is a balanced shade of coppery toning that bathes both the obverse and reverse of this evenly worn specimen. With the exception of a minor lamination just inside the rim at 2:30 on the reverse, there are no defects worthy of special mention. Traces of mint frost still adhere to the most protected areas within the legends, and are nicely accented by the originality of the surfaces. We’ve handled this coin twice since 2008. Originally it was purchased from Heritage in 2006 for $9,775, only to be offered for sale again in 2008 upon the passing of the collector – a good friend and loyal collector.
The gold half eagles struck with the A. Bechtler inscription are much scarcer than those marked C. Bechtler. Without any indication of date on the coin, we can only guess as to when the coins were actually struck, but it is logical to presume Augustus Bechtler was responsible for striking coins right alongside his father and cousin. The amount of gold coming in for assay, however, would have been dwindling, as less came in from the hills and more of it found it’s way to the newly built Dahlonega, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina United States branch mints. From the period of June 1838 and February of 1840, prospectors brought in gold from the Georgia region. After assay, these coins were struck, from dies noting 22 carats, and weighed at 25.6 grains to the dollar, or 64 grains to the quarter eagle and 128 grains to the half eagle. A mere $194,560 amount of gold was processed.