Prospector looking for gold during the California Rush. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
AMERICA’S GOLDEN HERITAGE
Gold has always claimed our admiration and our attention. The color of the sun, gold suggests life and immortality, emerging from the rock and the riverbed as shiny as the day it was created. It proclaims status, prestige, and wealth. For the first century and a half of its history, the United States minted and circulated gold coins. Although they have not been seen in circulation since the 1930s, gold coins remain highly prized by collectors.
LEGENDS FROM GOLD
Americans generally associate gold with the West, and especially with California. But there were earlier gold rushes in the East, and some famous coins resulted. They, and their successors from the West, have become legends. Some had unique designs, while others copied existing federal coins. All bear markings of their frontier origins.