These Pioneer Gold Coins Haven’t Been Seen in Years

Part of Oregon’s pioneering history is up for sale. Later this week, “The Riverboat Collection,” which contains several pioneer coins that haven’t been seen for years, will be auctioned in Chicago and. Two Pacific Company $1 gold coins are the stars of the collection. The historical significance of these coins makes them priceless. Hint: they are extremely rare. Other incredibly valuable coins include the Oregon $5 and $10 gold coins. Pioneer coins open a window into an important time in our region’s history. More importantly, the coins themselves have captivating stories.

The two Pacific Company $1 gold coins are considered imperfect, but there are only three known to exist. And the third coin—not being auctioned—is in the Smithsonian. Adding to the mystery, the company that produced these coins is still unknown. It has been theorized that the markings on the coin belong to the Pacific Company, which was formed in 1849, the same year the coins were issued. Other companies that could have possibly issued these coins are Pacific Mining & Trading Co., also known as Pacific Co., and a company known as Pacific Adventures.


In 1999, a man from New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania named Jerald Renford unearthed the Pacific Company $1 gold coins with a metal detector that he had recently purchased. Until then, it was believed that the Pacific Company had only issued $1 silver coins. This element adds another layer to the already incredible story of the Pacific Company $1 Gold Coins.

More specific to Oregon, “The Riverboat Collection” features Oregon $5 and $10 gold coins. The history of these coins is quite remarkable, too. Unable to get assistance from the Federal or territorial governments to create currency, Oregonians took matters into their own hands. Flush with gold from the California Gold Rush, and without a regional currency, the private Oregon Exchange Company was formed to fill this need

The beaver was chosen to represent productive Oregonians. It also represented the fur trade, which was Oregon’s main industry at the time. Perhaps as a result of this, the beaver is still used today to represent many things involving Oregon. From Oregon State University’s mascot to the official Oregon State animal, the beaver continues to represent the resourceful and productive members of the state.

The Central State Numismatic Society auction of “The Riverboat Collection” will take place on Thursday, April 24th, just outside Chicago.

Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family-owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We also buy gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.

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