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Hall County Historical Markers

First Private Mint Templeton Reid Mint


  • Source: Ed Jackson
  • Marker: First Private Mint Templeton Reid Mint
  • Location: Town Square, Gainesville, Ga.

FIRST PRIVATE MINT

TEMPLETON REID MINT

1830-1831

Two hundred yards west, on the north side of Washington

Street is the site of the first private mint in the United States

to manufacture gold coins in dollar values. During the Georgia

gold rush, trade suffered due to a shortage of sound money. There

were few coins in circulation and most business was by barter.

Templeton Reid (ca. 1787-1851), Milledgeville silversmith and expert

machinist, saw an answer to the problem. He decided to buy

raw gold, refine it and stamp coins of proven value, acceptable

in any transaction. In 1830 he came to Gainesville, Georgia and

opened an assay office. With machines and dies of his design

and make he bran to strike coins of $2.50, $5.00, and $10.00

denominations. Although questioned by many, this was legal

under the U.S. Constitution. The business was not profitable and

closed in 1831. The Reid gold coins minted in Gainesville are

extremely rare and are eagerly sought by collectors.

HCHS-2 HALL COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 1979