Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 39

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Lot 2281

1844-C $5 Liberty. NGC graded MS-63. NGC holder 1874139-008. Well struck and loaded with luster. Rich golden color. Frosty yellow gold with plenty of brilliance and luster present. Well struck (from lightly clashed dies) for the date, essentially sharp in nearly all areas. An incredible rarity in Mint State 63, and easily one of the finest examples of the date extant. As David Akers noted regarding this date and mint: "Specimens in AU or Uncirculated are almost unobtainable." He continued by noting that the finest he had ever seen was the Bareford coin-which is the specimen now currently offered as part of the Bass Collection.

The present coin will likely be off the market again for decades before reappears to delight the next generation of enthusiasts and admirers.

On the reverse, a small die crack runs from the rim at 10:00 to the tip of the eagle's wing. Another crack, this more prominent, begins at the rim over the first A in AMERICA, horizontally crossing the field and the eagle's wing, ending at a central point on the eagle's neck. Mildly weak neck feathers on the eagle. Pop 2; none finer at NGC. (PCGS # 8220) .

Historical reference from the Harry Bass sale of possibly this exact specimen: "According to Breen's Encyclopedia, "a burglar burned down the mint" at Charlotte on July 27, 1844. Author Clair Birdsall gives a more in-depth accounting of the events of that July day in his book titled The United States Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina: Its History and Coinage. An article appeared in the August 1, 1844 edition of the Charlotte Journal, describing the events of the day in some detail. It seems the fire was first discovered in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 27. Mint Superintendent Dr. Green W. Caldwell had not spent Friday, July 26, in his quarters at the mint (as was his custom), but had instead gone to the mountains of Lincoln County for health reasons. His stand-in for the day, unnamed in the article (later determined to be one Mr. Todd), had not stayed at the mint that day either. The fire was discovered early Saturday in the west wing of the mint, near the room housing the coinage presses. According to the article, it was a small fire when first discovered, perhaps just eight-feet square or so, and could easily have been squelched by use of water reservoirs that were in place on the roof of the mint. For some unknown reason, the fire was allowed to burn, with the building "left to the mercy of the flames," as the article noted. The building was nearly completely destroyed, along with most of the machinery and other equipment contained therein. The mint register, bullion, and coins were rescued, however, and spent some time at the Branch Bank of the State of North Carolina in Charlotte. Superintendent Caldwell reportedly lost all his private papers and a goodly sum of money in the blaze."
Estimated Value $30,000 - 33,000.
Ex: Ashland City.


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