1849 California Fractional Gold

I've tried to find this on numerous occasions but still no luck identifying this. A great local coin shop did not know if it is real too. Thank You. It just came around to us.

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  • These are tough, Bill.

    There are experts who understand all the ins and outs of California gold, but they are difficult to find, even online.

    Yours looks like a fake, but the trouble is, they ALL LOOK LIKE FAKES, even the real ones!

    See this page:


    If you haven't done it, take your token to a jeweler and have it tested for gold content. If it's solid gold, it could be real and therefore carry significant collector value. If not gold, or just gold plated, it's a fake.

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    • Paul Richards Hi Paul. Thanks. What a wonderful reply. The coin dealer did not want to take a risk of  damaging this is checking gold content. I'll go to a reputable coin dealer as a next step nice to know now. Hope all is well there with you and Thanks Again. Best Regards, Bill

  • Hi Bill -- There is a rather new device known as an XRF Analyzer which many jewelers, and some coin dealers, have to non-destructively test metallic content.

    Wikipedia; XRF can nondestructively analyze gold, silver, and platinum group metals, as well as nonprecious alloying metals, contaminants, and gold plating. XRF can even be used to identify certain fake gemstones, such as cubic zirconia, titanite, and leaded glass.

    XRF (X-ray fluorescence) is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. ... XRF analyzers determine the chemistry of a sample by measuring the fluorescent (or secondary) X-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary X-ray source.

    Check for someone with an XRF machine. I've seen handheld ones. Very cool.

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    • Paul Richards Hi Paul. I will definitely seek that out and I'm 99% sure the jeweler I will go to has one because of his longstanding reputation in the community. I sure appreciate your input here. This has been a great experience but I have no real experience in return to offer to numismatic enthusiasts. 

      Maybe just that I like the coinflation.com web site. Copper pennies and nickels. A penny and nickel equals six cents. Metal content value combines was 8.7 cents a few weeks back. Kind of interesting.

      A continental dollar came to us years ago. Finally found out it was fake 6 months or so ago. And I have a mercury dime no date which I might post if I can find it now. Hey, have a great weekend there. It's been my pleasure. Thanks Again.

  • Bill -- I started saving pre-83 cents years ago. You don't find them in circulation any more. I didn't know about the nickels. Thanks for the coinflation web site ...

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    • Paul Richards Hiya. Me to on the pennies. Who knows maybe someday the metal content will be 5c on the copper penny and 10c for the nickel. Ha. Wouldn't that be something.

    • Bill Smith At those prices the regular dimes and quarters and pennies might actually be worth there metal content. I wonder what the increase % would have to be.

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