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Schultz & Company – San Francisco – 1851

The San Franciscan Schultz Company in 1851

The firm Schultz & Company began its life in San Francisco originally as a foundry in 1850. As the Gold fields beckoned, the company had purchased the equipment to forge the dies for all of the private mints in and around San Francisco. The only company that created its own dies was Moffat & Company, where Albert Kuner engraved all of the dies.  

Although this was a successful business, they wanted greater opportunities, so they decided to go into the coining of the Gold coins business. Schultz & Co. soon began turning all of the Gold dust that they could purchase into Gold coins bearing the “Schultz & Co.” inscription.

It was reported in the media that Schultz & Co. struck both $5.00 and $10.00 denomination Gold coins, but no $10.00 Gold coin has yet to surface.

For the surviving specimens, the coins from Schultz & Company bear a striking resemblance to many of its competitors and to the federal coinage, then in circulation. The obverse had the familiar portrait of Miss Liberty, except on her coronet the company name was incorrectly spelled as “SCHULTS & CO.”

The reverse had the familiar eagle motif with the lettering around the periphery as “PURE CALIFORNIA GOLD” and the denomination at the bottom was “FIVE D.”

(The 1851 Shultz & Company $5.00 Gold Coin, Obverse [left], Reverse {right].)

Schultz & Company stated that only a small 10 percent copper alloy was used to harden their coins but when assay tests were conducted, they were found to contain only $4.87 worth of pure Gold.

By April of 1851, the partnership had dissolved and one partner continued in the coining business only to have the State Legislature decide to regulate the act of coining by individuals. That effectively ended the private coining business.

DateTypeMintageVF ValueUnc Value
1851Five D.Unknown$80,000$375,000

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