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GI28202

USA, California 1851 "880" Humbert "slug" 50-Dollars AU58

Regular price £85,000
Regular price Sale price £85,000

USA, Augustus Humbert, California, octagonal shaped $50, 1852, San Francisco, eagle, wings spread, with ribbon and shield, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and "880 THOUS" on ribbon above, FIFTY DOLLS below, all within inner circle, outer legend, AUGUSTUS HUMBERT UNITED STATES ASSAYER OF GOLD CALIFORNIA 1851, rev. machine made criss-cross of circular lines, a design similar to the engraving on watchcases, no 50 at centre, reeded edge (Fr.36: KM 32.2; Yeoman 2020 p.401). A very well preserved example with attractive red toning, slabbed and graded by NGC as AU 58, very rare thus.

NGC Certification 5967466-001.

The octagonal shaped gold $50 were the highest denomination U.S. gold coins to circulate. Struck in .800 gold fineness in 1851 by Augustus Humbert, the gold fineness will be later increased to produce the "887" THOUS slug $50 and "900" THOUS slug $50.
The .900 fine gold issues reflect an attempt to bring the territorial gold of the U.S. Assay Office into conformity with the U.S. Mint Standard.

Hundreds of thousands of slug gold $50 were produced but subsequently a huge percentage of the issue was turned in to the federal Mints and melted, making every well preserved example very rare on the market.

"Augustus Humbert, a New York watchcase maker, was appointed United States assayer, and he placed his name and the government stamp on the ingots of gold issued by Moffat & Co. The assay office, a provisional government mint, was a temporary expedient to accommodate the Californians until the establishment of a permanent branch mint. The fifty-dollar gold piece was accepted by most banks and merchants as legal tender on a par with the standard U.S. gold coins and was known variously as a slug, quintuple eagle, or five-eagle piece." United States Coins, R S Yeoman.

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