Posted 12 years ago
The 1854 Kellogg & Co. $20 double eagle gold coin is very similar in design to that of federal double eagles being produced at that time. The most noticable differences were the name "Kellogg & Co." replacing the word "Liberty" on the obverse, and the words "San Francisco California" replacing "United States of America" on the reverse.
The creation of the $20 double eagle gold coin was a direct result of the California Gold Rush. Coinage of both gold dollars and double eagles was authorized by an act of Congress on March 3, 1849, and by 1850 the first regular issue double eagles were being produced in Philadelphia and New Orleans. (My complete collection of double eagles is at http://acdwyer.com/doubleeagle.aspx)
Another Act of Congress on July 3, 1852 authorized a U.S. branch mint to be built in San Francisco.
By February of 1854, the U.S. Assay Office in San Francisco had been discontinued and no other private mints were producing coins. The new U.S. branch mint had not yet begun operations and businesses were clamoring for someone to produce coins.
The company Kellogg & Richter answered the call by producing Kellogg & Co. $20 gold pieces. Later that same year, the U.S. branch mint opened its doors. The company Kellogg & Richter was reorganized as Kellogg & Humbert, and continued to produce $20 gold coins in 1855 even though the new branch mint had begun producing them as well.