Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 25

Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction

Territorial Gold Coins
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 2868
1850 Moffat & Co. (San Francisco) $5 Gold. PCGS graded AU-53. Struck in a pale yellow-gold, with a bit of the characteristic greenish tint on both sides, plus some coppery toning as well. A very nice, clean coin that still retains some of the original mint luster. Moffat & Co. were prolific issuers of gold coins in the 1849-1850 period, eventually becoming sub-contractors to the United States Assay Office of Gold. Their coins were among the highest purity, hence the most widely accepted, of any Pioneer gold coins. That any of these coins survived until today is a near-miracle, since most of them were destroyed and converted into Federal gold coinage once the San Francisco Mint opened in 1854. Thankfully, collectors, shipwrecks, and forgetful owners saved a few for the collectors of today! (PCGS # 10243) .
Estimated Value $4,000 - 4,500.
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Lot 2869
  1851 U.S. Assay Office $50 "slug", 887 THOUS. Reeded edge. PCGS graded VF-35. Struck in natural orangish color gold with light toning. Here is a nice big Humbert $50.00 that shows honest wear and an assortment of light rim nicks as expected on such a large heavy coin. If you have been looking for a reasonably priced, problem-free "slug" showing honest useage as a representative from the Gold Rush Period, this is the coin for you (PCGS # 10214) .
Estimated Value $7,000 - 8,000.
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Lot 2870
  1852 U.S. Assay Office $50 Gold, 887 THOUS. NGC graded AU-53. Struck in deep yellow gold with golden-orange highlights and enough mint luster remaining as to justify this high grade. Minor handling marks with some edge nicks and small bumps as expected on one of these huge, heavy gold coins. If you have been looking for a grand example of an Octagonal $50.00 slug, then we recommend this one highly for your collection.
Estimated Value $19,000 - 21,000.
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Lot 2871
1855 Wass, Molitor & Co. (San Francisco) $50 Gold. PCGS graded EF-40. An impressive example of this large, heavy coin, here in an original, uncleaned state (which, we point out, is a delightful exception to the "improved" and "conserved" example we've seen in the past). The strike is excellent, the color is a soft, greenish-gold, and the overall appearance is completely consistent with the grade, if not indicative of a higher one. Both sides show some marks, which is typical of the issue, and we've seen a lot worse; here, we see minor rim dings, a couple of "teeth" marks on Liberty's neck caused by contact with another coin, a slight depression on Liberty's cheek, and some more "teeth" marks between 50 and DOLLARS on the reverse.

This 2-1/2 ounce behemoth was made by a pair of Hungarian patriots named S.C. Wass and A.P. Molitor, who established a smelting and assaying operation in San Francisco during the days of the California gold rush. Their earliest output consisted of $5 and $10 gold pieces, but as their reputation and skills advanced, they produced both $20 and $50 gold coins in 1855. Although they struck a large quantity of each denomination, very few survive today because most have been melted over the past nearly 150 years.

Before the coins from the S.S. Central America hit the market, there was some concern that several to many Wass Molitor "Fifties" would be found on the ocean floor. However, when all was said and done, only a single example was found on the shipwreck!

According to the PCGS Population Report, only 11 have been graded at this level, with 18 finer (the best being a single AU-58) (PCGS # 10363) .
Estimated Value $22,000 - 25,000.
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Lot 2872
1855 Kellogg & Co. (San Francisco) $20 Gold. Sharpness of MS-60. Sold by us (under the Superior Galleries name) in 1988, now re-entering the market after 15 years. Our description still stands: "Very sharply struck except for the stars at left. The surfaces are fully lustrous and satiny with glowing golden orange color. There are a few light scrapes on the obverse; reverse has a more severe scrape in the left field plus a dig on the shield. A remarkable coin and certainly among the finest known of this type variety."
Estimated Value $4,500 - 5,000.
Superior Galleries "A. Bernard Shore Collection" January 30, February 1-2, 1988, Lot 4643.

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Lot 2873
  1860 Clark, Gruber & Co. (Denver, Colorado) $2.50 Gold. PCGS graded MS-63 PQ. Here is a breathtaking specimen, the finest we have seen and a solid candidate for "Finest Known". The strike is bold and complete and the surfaces shimmer with intense mint luster only distributed by a scattering of trivial light contact marks. The color is natural light greenish-golden and visually this a most impressive coin. This little treasure is sure to stir considerable interest among connoisseur of Territorial gold. Pop of 5 with none higher (PCGS # 10135) .
Estimated Value $25,000 - 28,000.
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