1865 Gold In God We Trust Set

In 1865, the Mint first added the motto "In God We Trust" above the eagle's head on the reverse of the 3 largest silver and gold denominations. This would become the standard from 1866 to the conclusion of these denominations. The set illustrated below is from the Smithsonian.

Half Eagle J445/P517

Eagle J449/P521

Double Eagle J452/P524

According to Mason & Co's June 1870 sale only 2 sets were struck as shown below.

The set did not sell as it is fact unpriced in the catalog on the Newman portal. Even more confusing is the illustrated set now in the Smithsonian was acquired on 11/30/1892 at a cost of $75 along with a 3 piece silver set for $25 according to the Mint Collection's Acquisition Book. Normally coins transferred from the Mint would occur at face value which means the Smithsonian set is actually the one offered in the 1870 sale.

The other set, illustrated below from images of the Col Green plates on the Newman portal and one from Heritage was in the Woodin, Newcomer, Col Green, Boyd and Farouk collections where it was finally broken up and was probably originally in the Snowden collection and traded to Woodin for returning the 2 half unions. For more on that click here.

The half eagle & eagle have not appeared in the marketplace since. The double eagle was purchased by Dr. Wilkison at the Farouk sale and is presently in the Simpson collection. It is not really known today which set was originally the one offered in the June 1870 Mason & Co sale, although traditionally it has been placed with the Woodin set, we actually believe that that set is now in the Smithsonian as we note previously with the Woodin set likely from Snowden for returning the 2 1877 gold half unions.

2 gold dollars and 2 three dollar-J440 restrikes with the date slanting up to the right are also known and may have been struck in the early 1870s to be included with these 2 sets. Do any 1865 quarter eagles look like restrikes ?

Sets were also struck in copper.

Photo courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution.