There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.
Opening Bid
:
Current Bid:
Reserve Amount:

You are the current high bidder on this lot with a secret maximum bid of %bidPretty%.
(%bidBP% w/Buyer's Premium (BP) ).


Notice: You are the current high bidder on this lot, but the next highest bid is within one increment. That means that any additional bids on this lot will outbid you. To increase your chances of winning, enter your highest maximum bid.

You are the current high bidder on this lot with a secret maximum bid of %bidPretty%.
(%bidBP% w/Buyer's Premium (BP) ).

You are the current high bidder on this lot.
(Sign-In to see your maximum bid)

Your secret maximum bid of %bidPretty% has been outbid.

Your secret maximum bid of %bidPretty% does not meet the reserve.

(Sign-In to see your maximum bid)

Your secret maximum bid does not meet the reserve.
(Sign-In to see your maximum bid)

Lot
1842

1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. MS61 NGC....

2008 July-August Baltimore, MD (ANA) US Coin Signature Auction #1114

 
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
View Similar Items Available Now
Claim Item: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Auction Ended On: Jul 31, 2008
Item Activity: 5 Internet/mail/phone bidders
807 page views
Location:

Baltimore, MD

Description:
Marvelous Mint State 1851 Lettered Edge Humbert Fifty
887 Thous. With 50 Reverse, K-4, High R.5
1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. MS61 NGC. K-4, High R.5. The K-1 and K-4 are the Lettered Edge collectible varieties of 1851 octagonal Humbert fifties, with .880 and .887 fineness, respectively, both with 50 on the reverse. The K-2 .880 fine variety lacks the 50 on reverse. (The fourth variety, K-3, also .880 fine, is unique, featuring a 12-pointed star on the reverse in place of 50.) Kagin's reference mentions an .887 fine example similar to K-4 but lacking the 50 on the reverse, which he labels "K-4a, unconfirmed."
This Mint State K-4 .887 fineness piece, certified MS61 by NGC, provides a memorable example of this monumentally historic issue, one that justly deserves a place in the pantheon of the finest and most desired numismatic rarities.
The K-2 was created from the same die as the rarer K-1, but lacks the hand-stamped 50 in the center reverse. Augustus Humbert brought the modular dies with him to San Francisco, arriving in 1851. These earliest pieces produced by the U.S. Assay Office (a forerunner of the San Francisco Mint, which would open in April 1854) were really nothing more than glorified ingots, albeit of a more regular shape. They were designed, however, to be hand-stamped with an odd value in dollars and cents should the need arise.
Bowers' A California Gold Rush History comments concerning the issue, "In this way ingots of $50, $100, $200, or any other desired denomination could be produced, differing from each other only by size, weight, and fineness, but incorporating the same design stamp. The reverse is of a geometric 'engine turned' design similar to that used on a watch case, and reflects Augustus Humbert's skill as a maker of such cases--one of the occupations he had followed in New York City."
The 14 steps needed to produce the first Lettered Edge, With 50 fifties included:

--1. The obverse and reverse were stamped from a pair of dies.
--2-4. The fineness, in this case 887 was hand-stamped on the obverse from three separate numeral punches. (Note that 887 is incuse, with the 7 noticeably higher than 88, while THOUS, in the die, is raised.)
--5. The value 50 was stamped on the obverse to the left of DC (for dollars and cents), from a single punch. (Again, 50 is incuse, while DC is raised.)
--6-13. In eight separate operations, each of the octagonal edges was stamped with a logotype punch, AUGUSTUS / HUMBERT / UNITED / STATES / ASSAYER / OF GOLD / CALIFORNIA / 1851.
--14. The value 50 was hand-stamped on the reverse. (It is incuse here, of course, and rotated from either normal coin or medal turn.)

In practice, only the fifty dollar ingots were issued, as far as is now known. One of the enduring mysteries of Territorial gold coinage is why Humbert brought such modular dies with him to California, then failed to produce any odd-denomination pieces. Perhaps he was unaware until his California arrival that numerous producers of true rectangular ingots, such as Moffat & Co., had been making odd-denomination pieces as early as 1849, leading Humbert and his partners to focus on a standardized value as more conducive to trade and future business prospects.
This piece offers marvelous, even, and regular apricot-gold coloration throughout. A couple of small pits in the surface near the obverse edge are likely as made, although we note a small post-strike scrape above the I in AMERICA, around 4 o'clock on the obverse. There are only minor blows to a couple of the corners, as commonly seen on many pieces, much less distracting than the average survivor. Full luster is evident throughout, along with tremendous eye appeal, and there are extremely few signs of relevant contact elsewhere. Listed on page 362 of the 2009 Guide Book. Census: 5 in 61, 8 finer (7/08). (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:

Bid Now on Items Just Like This One

Lot Bidding Ends Grade Service Current Bid
Auction 1208, Lot 5779 Thursday, August 7, 2014 MS61 NGC $22,000.00
View items up for auction that match this item in other grades.


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

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




FLOOR AUCTIONS View All
Open For Bidding
Coming Soon
HERITAGE MEMBERSHIP
877,630
bidder-members
$960,865,727
sold in the last year
VIEW BENEFITS
  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
    winnings 
CONSIGNMENTS WANTED
Only 32 days left to consign to the 2014 October 8 - 12 PNG New York Invitational Coin Show US Coins Signature Auction - New York!
Learn About Consigning With Us
I think your auction is the best one I have ever participated in. It is well done!
R.M. ,
Ft. Collins, OH
HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit: compete.com
Take our 2014 Coin
and Currency Survey
Grand prize:
A Certified Uncirculated
1907 High Relief $20!*
Take the Survey
HERITAGE VIDEO TUTORIAL
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF SEARCH
RECENT AUCTIONS
2014 July 10 - 13 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando
2014 July 10 - 13 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando
REALIZED $9,734,681
2014 April 10-12 & 15-16 CICF World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2014 April 10-12 & 15-16 CICF World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $14,773,379
2014 April 24 & 28  CSNS World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
2014 April 24 & 28 CSNS World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED $2,708,143