Buckhead business owner Bob Harwell’s golden touch is on display in a new exhibition in the Hargrett Galleries of the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library at the University of Georgia.
The exhibition – Gold Digging in Georgia: America’s First Gold Rush – highlights the history of North Georgia gold mining from the 1820’s to the Civil War. It features photos, historical documents, artifacts and more.
A key part of the exhibition is a complete set of gold coins produced at the Dahlonega Mint prior to the Civil War. The set was accumulated by Bob Harwell, president of Atlanta’s Hancock & Harwell. Bob is one of the world’s leading experts on Dahlonega Gold Coins. To date Harwell has accumulated over 20 sets of Dahlonega coins for clients.
The set on display at the University of Georgia was accumulated over a six-year period from across the United States for Atlanta collector John McMullin. McMullin donated his set of Dahlonega coins – called the Reed Creek Collection – to the University for their permanent collection. The set is valued at over $1 million. There are 62 coins in the collection on display.
“Coins from the Dahlonega Mint are a unique and lasting relic of an important part of Georgia history,” said Harwell. “Dahlonega predates the California Gold Rush, and spawned the first industrialization of North Georgia.”
Harwell’s interest in Dahlonega gold coins dates to 1986 when he and his late partner, Jack Hancock, assembled their first set. One of Harwell’s most famous sets of Dahlonega coins was the Duke’s Creek Collection, a complete set of uncirculated Dahlonega gold.