Photo by Stefan Hallberg
1846 "Do Your Duty" Coin (left)
While camped in Iowa Territory, Church member Peter Haws created this brass coin. He embossed one side with a beehive and the slogan "Do Your Duty." On the other side, he embossed hands clasped together with the motto "Union Is Strength." The coins were used as currency among Church members throughout Pottawattamie County.
1849 Gold $10 Coins (right)
In 1848, President Brigham Young directed that a mint should be established to produce gold coins in the new settlement of Great Salt Lake City. Up to that time, paper slips signed by Church leaders had served as currency.
Coin production began in 1849. Like all 1849 gold Mormon coins, the ten dollar denomination features an open eye and a crown surrounded by the words "Holiness to the Lord." The reverse side of the coin shows two hands clasped. "Pure Gold" and "Ten Dollars" is written around the hands.
Unfortunately, when the coins reached non-Mormon territories, they were rejected because of their substandard weight. Some banks accepted them with a 25 percent discount, but most of the coins were melted outside of Mormon territory.