Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States
Kagin, Donald H. (1981)
This is the story of three gold rushes in American history, starting in the Appalachians in the late 1820s, exploding in California twenty years later, and concluding in Colorado in the late 1850s. Although California has most captured popular thought, all three are intertwined with private gold coinage, technically illegal but tolerated by a federal government unable to service the blood of commerce. Kagin does more than merely catalog the artifacts; indeed, the reader must persist until the detailed appendix in order to find the usual technical data. The real treasure here is the wealth of historical context surrounding private gold coinage - stories of the coiners and the mints, of early strikes and the halting attempts of the U.S Government to absorb the gold economy. A useful associated item is a sale catalog issued by Kagin's, entitled The Robert Bass Collection: The Finest Collection of Pioneer Patterns Ever Assembled.
Voted #62 of the top 100 American numismatic works by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society in a 2009 survey.