MORAN & CLARK
PIONEER GOLD COINS
Another of the would-be California gold minters, know only from extant trial strikings from finished dies of an intended gold piece, was Moran and Clark. Like several other firms, this company struck trial pieces in the East and either the company disbanded before ever minting from gold, or the dies and/or coining machinery were discarded or lost on their way West. Outside of a few $10 copper trial strikes, the only known reference, until recently, to this Sacramento firm is a printed item, dated November 28, 1850, in a New York paper of January, 1851, from a correspondent in Sacramento, which stated: “Mr. Dan Moran, formerly of Moran & Clark, of this city, is, I believe, in New York, doing there a large auction business.”
A newly discovered reference places a “D. Moran and John C. Clark” in Sacramento from August 23, 1849, until November 1. Whether these trial pieces were made there or later in San Francisco – which is inscribed on the coin – is unknown. The place name could have been put on the coins either before or after a stay in that city. Nor does the use of “San Francisco” mean that the coins were made there, as we have already seen in the example of Norris, Gregg, & Norris. From the dates of the cited references, the coins were probably struck in late 1849 or early 1850.
--Reprinted with permission of the author
from Donald H. Kagin's, "Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the
United States", copyright 1981, Arco Publishing, Inc. of New