MINTS, PRIVATE, frequently appeared in new gold-producing areas—first in Georgia and North Carolina, later in the West—when there was a scarcity of U.S. minted coins. In California, from 1849 to 1851, government money was so scant that several private mints were set up; though not legal tender, their coins circulated widely and were accepted on deposit by banks. A little later, private mints functioned in Oregon, Utah, and Colorado. With the establishment of the U.S. mint at San Francisco in 1854, the need for privately minted coins disappeared. The federal government has never requested a private mint to produce U.S. coins.
Adams, Edgar H. Private Gold Coinage of California, 1849–55. New York: E. H. Adams, 1913.
Alvin F.Harlow/a. r.