PCGS - The colorful realm of California Fractional coinage brims with myriad pieces struck during the height of the Gold Rush in the late 1840s and 1850s. Before Federal United States coinage was produced at the San Francisco Mint beginning in 1854, various California jewelers produced quarters, half dollars, and dollars made from gold intended for circulation. Many prospectors shipped the gold coinage to family members and loved ones East, while other pieces remained in circulation into the late 1850s.
One of these interesting private gold pieces is the 1854 25 Cent Defiant Eagle California, attributed to San Francisco watchmaker and jeweler M. Jordan. Catalogued by coin experts Walter Breen and Ronald J. Gillio as BG-220 and further researched at length by numismatic author Robert Leonard, the 1854 25 Cent Defiant Eagle California Fractional may have been struck to promote the opening of Jordan's business, located at 130-1/2 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. However, given the small known number of these pieces they may have been executed as patterns.