- Privately minted gold coins from the first decades of the United States have always intrigued numismatists. Though these coins were not minted by the United States Mint or served a role as de jure federal legal tender, they were integral to the fledgling regional economic systems in which they circulated. And while many individuals associate privately minted gold with the American West, where the famous Gold Rush occurred beginning in the late 1840s, fewer may know about the Gold Rush in the South and the privately minted coins it inspired.
That is where gold was discovered in massive quantities during the late 1820s, spawning a major run on the yellow precious metal in places like northern Georgia and western North Carolina. Tens of thousands swooped in from all over the young United States to stake a claim on the gold, causing entire towns to spring up literally overnight around these golden hotspots. The gold rush in Georgia and North Carolina eventually led to the establishment of the first United States branch mints in Dahlonega, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina in 1838.Read the entire article