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Description

Rare, High Grade 887 Fine Humbert 'Slug'

1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. MS60 NGC. Kagin-4, High R.5. This is an important example of California Gold Rush history. Although usually called a "slug," and occasionally a "quintuple eagle," the official name for these large gold pieces was "ingot." On September 30, 1850, a bill was passed that created an assay office in California, sanctioned by Congress and serving as a branch of the United States Government. The United States Assay Office of Gold was authorized to produce ingots no smaller than 50 dollars and no larger than 10,000 dollars.
New York watchmaker Augustus Humbert arrived in San Francisco on January 30, 1851. In his possession were master dies bearing the design created by Charles Cushing Wright for the obverse, and by Humbert himself for the reverse. The first ingots were struck by Humbert the very next day. The obverse features the defiant eagle design below a scroll inscribed 887 THOUS in incuse numerals. In the eagle's mouth is a ribbon inscribed LIBERTY. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the outside is surrounded by a wide border on this massive octagonal gold coin. Below the eagle are the raised letters D and C, preceded by another incuse 50 punched into the surface. On the reverse is the famous engine-turned design with an incuse 50 at the center. One of the most fascinating features of this slug is the edge, although it is only partially visible inside the NGC holder.
This is a pleasing example with fully brilliant greenish yellow-gold color and substantial luster. The obverse striking details are impressive, with the design elements above average for this design. On the ribbon, the 887 is incuse, and has replaced a previous 880 that was also hand-punched into the coin's surface. The surfaces display a number of moderate marks, mostly on the obverse. This important territorial issue is listed on page 349 of the 2007 Guide Book. (PCGS# 10208)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
May, 2007
9th-12th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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Page Views: 630

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