The enigmatic later issues of Templeton Reid were probably made from California gold. Reid, who never went to California, was then a cotton-gin maker in Columbus, Georgia, where he died in 1851. The coins were in denominations of ten and twentyfive dollars. Struck copies of both exist in various metals.
The only example known of the twenty-five-dollar piece was stolen from the cabinet of the U.S. Mint on August 16, 1858. It was never recovered.
The first private gold coinage in the 19th century was struck by Templeton Reid, a jeweler and gunsmith, in Milledgeville, Georgia, in July 1830. To be closer to the mines, he moved to Gainesville, where most of his coins were made. Although weights were accurate, Reid’s assays were not and his coins were slightly short of claimed value. He was severely attacked in the newspapers and soon lost the public’s confidence. He closed his mint before the end of October in 1830; his output had amounted to only about 1,600 coins. Denominations struck were $2.50, $5, and $10.