Goldberg Coins and Collectibles



Sale 44


 
 
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Lot 2782

1852 U.S. Assay Office $50 "slug", 887 THOUS. Reeded edge. NGC graded AU-55. Lightly toned. Nice details. with some minor edge bruising and a small area of scuff lines through STATES to the top rim. Full clear date and other legends. The shield stripes show their lines and the eagle's only weakness is at the leg and claw holding the arrows.

During the heyday of the California Gold Rush, these $50 ingots or "slugs" or "Californians" as they were sometimes called, passed as money; for most of 1851-53 they were the principal accepted currency in California. Earlier dies gave the issuer's name as AUGUSTUS HUMBERT U.S. ASSAYER OF GOLD; later ones as UNITED STATES ASSAY OFFICE OF GOLD, but it was the same provisional branch mint, located at first on Montgomery St. between Commercial and Clay, later at 608-10 Commercial Street. Humbert arrived in San Francisco on Jan. 30, 1851, bringing master dies or hubs, and on Jan. 31 he struck his first octagonal ingots. Quantity issue began February 14. Anticipating Humbert's arrival, Collector of Customs T. Butler King was authorized by President Millard Fillmore, December 2, 1850, to receive any or all issues of the new Assay Office in payment of tariffs: a de facto recognition that they passed as federal money, effective from the first day of issue (PCGS # 10217) .
Estimated Value $30,000 - 34,000.

 
Realized $43,700
 



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