1854 Gold Dollar. Type II. MS-66+ (PCGS). CAC. This extraordinary Type II gold dollar is exceptionally well preserved and remarkably well produced. Both sides are fully defined over all design elements, and the surfaces are free of the often seen clash marks in the fields around the central devices. The luster is smooth, frosty and undisturbed by even the most trivial blemishes. Vivid golden-orange patina adds to the appeal of this premium quality Gem.The small 12.7 mm diameter of the Type I gold dollar brought about a few complaints of it being easy to lose, like the silver trime. To address this, Longacre enlarged the diameter to 14.3 mm, but he also completely revised the design, replacing it with an Indian design with a crown of feathers resembling his design on the newly introduced three-dollar gold piece. He also moved the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to the obverse from the reverse. The reverse laurel wreath was replaced with the cereal wreath Longacre employed on the three-dollar denomination and that was later adopted for the Flying Eagle cent. Even with these design changes, challenges faced Mint personnel when striking the coins. Because the weight of the denomination remained unchanged, the coins were made slightly thinner. The obverse Indian head bust of Liberty was in too high a relief for the thinner planchets, and most examples displayed poor definition in and around the centers. To further complicate matters, the dies often clashed early and frequently during press runs, and many survivors exhibit numerous pronounced clash marks. Bowers estimates 90% of all 1854 Type II dollars bear such clash marks on one or both sides. These striking deficiencies prompted the third and final redesign in 1856, enlarging the bust and flattening its relief profile.The Philadelphia Mint was the only facility to produce the Type II gold dollar in 1854, striking 783,943 pieces of the new design were struck at Philadelphia along with 855,502 of the Type I dollars. Taken as a whole, the Type II design is by far the scarcest of the three basic types. Anywhere from 5,000 to 8,000 remain with maybe a quarter to a third in Mint State. The true rarity of the 1854 Type II gold dollars emerges at the MS-65 level. Gem specimens are found only among those coins struck with the freshest of dies. This is a superb example of the type and will fit perfectly in the finest cabinet. From the D. Brent Pogue Collection.