1869 Gold Dollar. MS-67 (PCGS). CAC. This Superb Gem gold dollar displays a bold blend of softly frosted luster and vivid golden-rose patina. Semi-reflective in the fields and highly attractive. It is fully struck, expertly preserved, and a delight to behold.In 1869, gold was front row, center in the nations economy. The "Golden Spike" joining the Transcontinental Railroad was driven on May 10 at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory. A few months later one of the seminal financial crises of the Gilded Age occurred, "Black Friday." Financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to convince Treasury officials to keep the price of gold artificially high by keeping the governments holdings of the metal in the commodities market while ostensibly allowing domestic farmers to have a competitive advantage in foreign markets. In reality, this move gave Gould and Fisk ample opportunity to buy up interest in the metal, forcing the premium on gold to increase by one-third. President Ulysses Grant caught wind of the scheme in September and immediately ordered the release of $4,000,000 in gold on Friday, September 24. This caused the price to fall back to normal levels, ruining many speculators trying to take advantage of the run up in the market. Today, "Black Friday" is more closely associated with the post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday rather than the financial collapse that spawned the phrase.Despite a moderate spike in production at Philadelphia in 1861 and 1862, the gold dollar was a denomination in decline by the 1860s. After 1861, production was confined to the Philadelphia Mint with one exception (the 1870-S), and not for any real need in circulation. The gold dollars of 1869 are typical of these later Type 3 issues with only 5,900 coins coming off the Mints presses on a single day, February 15. They saw very little commercial use but were instead popular as gifts or in jewelry. Bowers notes that worn examples below the EF level are actually quite rare. Many others show evidence of time spent in jewelry while a modest quantity of higher grade examples are clustered between AU-58 and MS-62 (although no doubt a few resubmissions are included). The same situation is likely at play at the Gem level and higher, where the actual rarity may be much greater than the reported numbers suggest. The premium quality Pogue example will satisfy even the most demanding connoisseur.