1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. $10. K-7. Rarity-4. AU-55 (PCGS).Attractive deep orange-honey color with a hint of pinkish-rose noted at the peripheries on both sides. The surfaces are remarkably smooth for a lightly circulated example of this type, and both the rims and devices remain attractive. Appreciable frosty luster remains to further tempt the advanced Territorial gold collector.<p>While the California Gold Rush steals much of the limelight, the discovery of gold in Colorado in the late 1850s is no less important. As prospectors returned eastward from the Colorado gold fields, they brought with them tales of the challenges in conducting any form of trade in gold dust, a common complaint during the earlier California and Appalachian gold rushes. Three enterprising merchants in Leavenworth, Kansas, brothers Austin and Milton Clark and merchant Emmanuel Gruber heard these stories and decided that a profitable enterprise could be had providing banking and assay services in the gold fields and in early 1860 formed Clark, Gruber & Company as a bank, assay office, and mint. In mid 1860, the firm was able to commence striking coins in $2.50, $5, $10, and $20 denominations using gold dust of high purity. The coins were quickly accepted by the miners and soon Clark, Gruber & Co. became the most prolific of the comparatively few Colorado coiners. The high purity of the locally mined alloy proved to be a detriment in circulation since the coins wore easily, so the following year Clark, Gruber & Co. added a higher concentration of silver to the alloy, all the while keeping the total gold content roughly 1% higher than their federal equivalents to ensure continued use. In 1862, the company ceased coining operations after producing just under $600,000 face value in their coins. The federal government took notice of the operation and in April of 1863 bought the Clark, Gruber & Co. facility and equipment. The government converted the facility to an assay office before finally converting it to a branch mint in 1906. The coins were widely accepted in local commerce for many years and as a result most observed specimens are often found in very low grades. Tantalizingly close to Mint State and with exceptional eye appeal, this 1861 $10 would be an important addition to any Territorial gold cabinet.PCGS# 10141. NGC ID: ANK4.From the Barbaro Acres Collection.