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Lot
5145

1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, Lettered Edge, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. XF45 PCGS. Gold CAC. K.4, High R.5....

2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando #1166

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 5, 2012
Item Activity: 17 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Orange County Convention Center
North/South Building
9899 Universal Blvd.
Hall SB - South Building
Orlando, FL 32819

Description:
Choice XF 1851 Humbert Fifty Dollar Slug
887 Thous., 50 Reverse, K-4 Variety
1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, Lettered Edge, 887 Thous. 50 Rev. XF45 PCGS. Gold CAC. K.4, High R.5. The United States Assay Office was established by an act of Congress on September 30, 1850, and the firm of Moffat & Company secured the contract for coining operations. Augustus Humbert, a New York watchmaker, was appointed assayer, and Charles Cushing Wright engraved the first dies, which Humbert brought with him when he arrived in California on January 30, 1851. Later dies were engraved locally by Albert Kuner. Coinage operations commenced immediately, and fifty dollar slugs were being produced by February 14. The new coins were of great benefit to the local economy, as their weight and fineness were accurate and they were accepted for customs duties. The new issues soon drove most of the private mints in the area out of business, as their coins were perceived as being light weight and of low intrinsic value.
The coin offered here represents the very scarce K-4 variety, with a lettered edge, a fineness of 887 THOUS., and the number 50 in the center of the reverse. The reverse design was "engine turned", similar to the design on many watch cases of the era. Don Kagin reports a possible variety K-4a, resembling K-4 in all other respects, but with no 50 on the reverse. The existence of this variety is unconfirmed.
The present coin is a lightly worn XF45 specimen, with lustrous greenish-gold surfaces. The edges show a few rim minor bruises and the surfaces display the usual number of abrasions for a large gold coin in this grade. Housed in an old green label holder with a gold CAC sticker. Listed on page 368 of the 2012 Guide Book. Population: 3 in 45, 19 finer (11/11).
From The Klamath Mountain Collection. (PCGS# 10208)

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