US California Fractional Gold (Counterfeit)  1849 to 1880
US California Fractional Gold (Counterfeit) 1849 to 1880

Hello Mr. Edge -- Sounds like you have a replica of a California fractional, small denomination gold piece with a face value of one half dollar. These coins were privately minted in round and octagonal shapes in response to the sharp lack of small coinage during the gold rush of mid-1800.

Genuine Cal Gold pieces today catalog anywhere from $150 US dollars to several $1000s of US dollars, depending on specific pattern and condition. The details of these pieces is too specialized and too complex for the CoinQuest forum, but numismatist Mike Locke has a good site on Cal Gold, and is the definitive meeting place for collectors and dealers. If you have just the slightest interest in these coins, we strongly urge you to visit one or both of these sites for detailed information.

With Mr. Edge's piece, the question is authenticity. If the word REPLICA appears on the coin as you describe, it most certainly is just that -- a replica of a genuine piece. Nice replica coins these days sell for a few 10s of dollars. Low-quality replicas sell for a few dollars each. See this CoinQuest page [Press Here] for a discussion of real and fake Cal Gold.

Even without the word REPLICA, there are plenty of counterfeit Cal Gold pieces around. The coin in our main picture is a fake. If you think you have a real one, you should have it certified by a respected service such as PCGS, NGC, or ICG. Look them up on the Internet.

Coin: 1604 , Genre: United States
Requested by: Mr. Edge, Sun, 18-Oct-2009 23:43:07 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Tue, 21-May-2013 02:39:20 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Sun, 14-Jun-2015 19:38:07 GMT
Requester description: 1852 Face: Devices-Indian Head; 12 stars; 1852 Rear: Inscriptions-CALIFORNIA GOLD; 1/2; REPLICA Devices- California Bear
Tags: california fractional fraction gold counterfeit fractionally au goldish golden goldenen replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery fakes indian head 12 stars star inscriptions monogram 1 2 bear starrs script inscription letter monograms initial scripts initals calligraphy caligraphy letters lettering scrip lettered initials bears feather hat cap headdress mountain volcano arrow rays ray beams starburst sun sunburst helmeted hood caps headband hooded helmet bonnet helmit helmets volcanos volcanoes hill moutains eruption mountains hills arrowheads arrows radiating radiates beam radiate radiant burst sunrise sola sol sunshine sunset sunlight sols


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