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Image of Templeton Reid, 10 Dollars, 1830
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Templeton Reid, 10 Dollars, 1830


This coin is approximately 94 percent gold and 6 percent copper. Over time, a mark left by a dirty finger could have etched that alloy. Pure gold is much more stable and does not respond in the same way to environmental changes, chemicals, or other contaminants.


It isn’t clear why this mark was made. Perhaps it is a test mark—either to scratch out a small amount of gold and test for purity, or to identify it as a suspicious newcomer to gold coinage.


Templeton Reid was an assayer—he judged the worth of gold. When venturing into his new endeavor of coin minting, he must have thought this reference would add to his credibility.


Golden Legends The following objects are in this section.
Templeton Reid, 10 Dollars, 1830United States, 5 Dollars, 1838Oregon Exchange Company, 5 Dollars, 1849Clark, Gruber & Co., 20 Dollars, 1860
Templeton Reid, 5 Dollars, 1830United States, 2 1/2 Dollars, 1848U.S. Assay Office, 50 Dollars, 1851 
Templeton Reid, 2 1/2 Dollars, 1830United States, 20 Dollars, 1849 (Pattern)Kellogg & Co., 50 Dollars, 1855 
Bechtlers, 5 Dollars, 1834Oregon Exchange Company, 10 Dollars, 1849United States, 50 Dollars, 1877 (Pattern) 
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