Rare Gold Rush Coin

To Be Sold at Auction

CONCORD, N.H. -- This small coin is worth much more than its weight in gold.

A coin owned by generations of a California family has been confirmed by numismatists as one of only 12 known existing "Quarter Eagle" coins, which were made of Gold Rush ore at the San Francisco Mint in 1854.

"The coin is only about the size of a dime and contains just one-eighth ounce of California gold, but I guarantee it will be worth much more than its weight in gold when it's sold at the auction," said John J. Kraljevich Jr., research director at American Numismatic Rarities of Wolfeboro, which authenticated the coin and will auction it.

The seller, who wants to remain anonymous, descends from Chinese immigrants who worked the California gold fields. The seller's great-grandfather acquired it between 1856 and 1858, Kraljevich said.

He said the family took great care with the coin and only one of the dozen known examples is in better condition. The others are all owned by collectors.

During the Gold Rush, depositors turned ore into coins for easy shipment and exchange, said Douglas Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs. Only 246 Quarter Eagles were made in 1854, he said.

2 Named Storms

Brew in the Atlantic

MIAMI -- Hurricane Maria intensified over the open Atlantic east of Bermuda, while the 14th tropical storm of the season developed south of the island, forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Nate had top sustained winds of 40 mph and was centered about 320 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west near 2 mph, and forecasters expected it to continue its slow westward track over the next day.

Maria had top wind speeds at 115 mph as the system neared the cooler waters of the North Atlantic.

Court to Hear Case

Of Columbine Diaries

DENVER -- Colorado's Supreme Court scheduled arguments for next week on whether videotapes and diaries made by the Columbine High School gunmen can be released publicly.

The parents of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris argue that the items are privately owned and not subject to a state open-records law. The Denver Post sued in 2002, seeking public release.

Justices are scheduled to hear arguments Sept. 13. An appeals court ruled last year that there was no reason to seal the material but said state law allows authorities to withhold documents if release would be contrary to the public interest.

-- From News Services