Sign In or Create Account

Knowledge Center

Pacific Company – San Francisco – 1849

The 38 Partners of the Pacific Company

The Pacific Company was a large group of people whose common thought was to go to California in 1849 and strike gold coins, which were desperately needed. They were from Boston and sought to seek their fortunes helping those on the gold fields. The members each contributed $1,000 – a huge sum at the time – and the group that started out with 30 participants expanded to 38 members.

But 38 partners is an unruly amount of people to work together and in agreement, especially when it concerns making decisions that affect the livelihood of all involved. Like other large groups who came to California seeking riches, this group, a few months after landing in California also disbanded.

It is believed that the Pacific Company brought with them coin dies that were created back East and like most of their valuable possessions, it is believed that the coining dies were also sold to recoup some of their investments.

It is believed that the firm of Broderick and Kohler bought the coinage dies and struck coins under the “Pacific Company” name. But unlike most of the private California gold coins, the Broderick and Kohler firm had no coining presses. These coins were struck by hand using the obverse and reverse dies and a sledgehammer, as coins had been struck since ancient times.

The gold coins struck using the Pacific Company dies were a $1.00 coin, a $5.00 coin, and a $10.00 coin. The $1.00 gold coin displays a Phrygian cap on a pole on the obverse, with 30 six-pointed stars, in 10 groups of 3 stars, separated by rays, seemingly emanating from the cap. On the lower periphery was the denomination “1 DOLLAR.”

The reverse displayed an eagle with upraised wings as its central device. The eagle is holding an olive branch in one talon and a gold hammer in the other. Around the periphery are the words “PACIFIC COMPANY CALIFORNIA 1849.”

(A Pacific Company $1.00 Gold coin, obverse [left], Reverse {right].)

The $5.00 gold coin has the exact same design, except for the denomination on the obverse being changed to “5 DOLLARS” and the size is considerably larger. There are no changes to the reverse design.

(A Pacific Company $5.00 Gold coin, obverse [left], Reverse {right].)

Again the $10 gold coin version carried the exact same design, but was larger in size still and had “10 DOLLARS” as the denomination on the obverse.

(A Pacific Company $10.00 Gold coin, obverse [left], Reverse {right].)

DateTypeMintageXF ValueUnc Value
1849$1 Gold2 Known$150,000$350,000
1849$5 Gold4 Known$550,000$925,000
1849$10 Gold4 Known$750,000$1,025,000

Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of Pre-1933 U.S. Gold Coins.

Explore More On APMEX



Rare Coins