Baldwin and Company $5 gold coin highlights Stack’s Baltimore sale

An 1850 $5 gold coin issued privately by California assayers Baldwin & Co. highlighted Stack’s Bowers Galleries recent Rarities Night, which was part of the auction house’s 10-session Baltimore Auction this November.

The rarities session, held on Nov. 9, saw the 1850 gold coin bring $15,000 USD (about $19,000 Cdn.) as Lot 10251. Graded Very Fine-30 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the coin was described by auctioneers as a “handsome example of this rare territorial issue with a bright brassy-gold complexion throughout. … Bold and attractive, there is much to desire about this charming VF piece.”


Beginning as jewellers and watchmakers in San Francisco, Calif., Baldwin & Co. entered the private coining business in March 1850 led by partners George C. Baldwin and Thomas S. Holman; the duo was assuming control of F.D. Kohler & Co.’s operations.

The coin (reverse shown) includes ‘bright brassy-gold complexion throughout,’ according to auctioneers.

“It was not until May that Baldwin & Co. posted a notice advertising their assay, refining and coining business,” reads the auction catalogue. “In short order, Baldwin & Co. was producing prodigious quantities of $5 and $10 gold pieces. The dies were finely produced and were almost certainly the work of noted engraver Albert Kuner. By early 1851, the San Francisco Herald reported that Baldwin & Co.’s output nearly matched that of the United States Assay Office of Gold.”

According to auctioneers, the $5 coin “closely resembles the federal half eagle, but the 1850 $10 bears Kuner’s famed ‘Vaquero’ obverse with a mounted cowboy swinging a lasso.”

Leave a Reply

Canadian Coin News


Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $59.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.