The 1861-D Gold Dollar represents the rarest issue of the series, a status which is magnified by its historical background. After the Confederate Army seized the Dahlonega Mint in April 1861, they struck an estimated 1,250 gold dollars with the remaining bullion on hand. Since production had not previously taken place during the year, this issue represents the only coin struck exclusively by the Confederacy.
Approximately 50-60 pieces are still in existence across all grades. Most of these are graded in AU, indicating they were hoarded soon after their mintage. Production-quality was low, and most survivors show various problems such as weak strikes and irregular planchets.
One of the finest known examples graded NGC MS 65 from the Duke’s Creek collection sold for $149,500 at an auction held in January 2008.