So-Called Dollars


United States Branch Mint in California authorized by Congressional Act July 3, 1852; opened April 3, 1854 at 144 (not 608-610) Commercial St., between Montgomery and Kearny Sts. First gold coins struck 1854; first silver coins in 1855. In November, 1874, mint moved to corner Fifth and Mission Sts.; survived 1906 earthquake and fire by use during catastrophe of artesian wells, completed in center court only three weeks earlier.

By Congressional Act of Feb. 12, 1873, effective April 1, Mint became United States Mint at San Francisco, dropping "branch" identity. On Oct. 14, 1873, just few months before it occupied new building, "largest and most powerful coining press in the world" was built for Mint by Morgan and Orr, Philadelphia.

Photos courtesy of Dave Hayes

Obv. In 6 lines, first and last curved, others straight, The Largest / and Most / Powerful / Coining Press / in the / World.; beaded border.
Rev. In 7 lines, fourth and sixth straight, others curved, Built by / Morgan & Orr / Phila. for / U. S. Mint / San Francisco / Cal. / Oct 14 1873; beaded border.

HK-1003 Silver. Proof. 38mm.
HK-1003a Copper.

HK-13 to HK-15