The California gold rush sent the population of the western frontier skyrocketing in 1849. Without a system of exchange in place and no U.S. coins readily available, small private firms began mintingtheir own gold currency. These coins became known as pioneer gold. One of the very first companies to produce pioneer gold was the New York-based metalworks firm of Norris, Gregg & Norris. Their $5, or half eagle, coin was first minted in 1849 and became a vital part of California's remarkable history. Today, a collector could expect to pay thousands of dollars for a genuine Norris, Gregg & Norrisgold coin . . . if they are able to find one.
The 1849 $5 Norris, Gregg & Norris Replica is a faithful reproduction of this first known pioneer gold coin featuring a center eagle with the $5 denomination on its shield surrounded by the words "California Gold and "Without Alloy.
The obverse features a perched eagle with spread wings. The reverse depicts the year "1849," centered and encircled with stars, the partners' initials above with the words, "Full Weight of Half Eagle."
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