There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.

1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. MS60 NGC....

2007 Milwaukee, WI (ANA) Signature Coin Auction #444

Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Claim Item: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Auction Ended On: Aug 9, 2007
Item Activity: 3 Internet/mail/phone bidders
1,056 page views
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Mint State K-4 Humbert Fifty Dollar 'Ingot,'
887 Thous, With 50 Reverse
1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. MS60 NGC. K-4, High R.5. This is an important example of California Gold Rush history. American numismatic history provides us with numerous quaint and colorful names for these pieces. The "quintuple eagle" moniker is understandable, since these fifty dollar coins were officially five times that of the ten dollar piece, or eagle. The term "slug" has a more uncertain derivation, but a couple of its past meanings are instructive: A "slug" in printing is a thick strip of metal, and a "slug" in its oldest (1375-1425) meaning means a "heavy, slow person." Either of those meanings could have developed into a heavy coin, and/or a person who carries them!
Another term used to describe them, "ingot," is actually more on the mark, for these earliest octagonal fifties purposely bore a "modular" design, with the obverse little more than a standard design with blanks for dollars and cents figures beside a _D_C device that could be punched in by hand, as the need required. Clearly, when Augustus Humbert received this die from Charles Cushing Wright before leaving for California, neither of them could anticipate exactly what coinage denominations would be needed or feasible, or what gold finenesses would be encountered. It is possible that this same die was contemplated for use with one hundred dollar and two hundred dollar pieces as well of extra thickness, and/or to produce coins denominated in dollars and fractions thereof
Humbert arrived in San Francisco January 30, 1851, and struck the first ingots the 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 largely obscured inside the NGC holder. We know that it reads AUGUSTUS / HUMBERT / UNITED / STATES / ASSAYER / OF GOLD / CALIFORNIA / 1851.
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 been hand-punched with individual number punches into the coin's surface. The surfaces display a number of moderate marks, mostly on the obverse. Listed on page 353 of the 2008 Guide Book. (PCGS# 10208)

View large image(s) of this item

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Guides and Pricing Information:

Previous Prices from Heritage Auctions
or Join (free & quick)
Price Guide
or Join (free & quick)
Population Guide
or Join (free & quick)
Find Auction Prices for Comparable Items:

Sign-in or Join (free & quick) to see the full image

Open For Bidding
Coming Soon
sold in the last year
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
Only 27 days left to consign to the 2015 September 16 - 21 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!
Learn About Consigning With Us
With all these; friendly people, highly professional staff, superb web site makes you a winner.
San Leandro, CA receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:
2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $16,999,788
2015 April 9 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 April 9 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $6,505,243
2015 April 22 - 28 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
2015 April 22 - 28 CSNS Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $10,592,191
You could win!
Take the Survey