1851 $50 RE Humbert Fifty Dollar, Reeded Edge, 880 Thous. AU53 NGC. K-5, Low R.5....
Reddish-Tinged 1851 Humbert Fifty, AU53, K-51851 $50 RE Humbert Fifty Dollar, Reeded Edge, 880 Thous. AU53 NGC. K-5, Low R.5. Reeded Edge, No 50 on Reverse. The first Humbert octagonal "slugs," which are in reality fifty dollar ingots, had a lettered edge that included the date. The hand-lettering process was cumbersome and resulted in numerous errors, such as partially inverted lettering and repunched letters and words. It is a tribute to Humbert and the other personnel involved in the U.S. Assay Office that in a remarkably short time they managed to progress from the first rudimentary hand-lettered pieces to high-speed production of reeded-edge coins (such as the present piece) on coin presses that rivaled those of the then-current Philadelphia Mint.
Like most of these soft and heavy gold coins, this piece shows some small abrasions from a short stay in circulation, along with a couple of rim bumps--the octagonal shape made the eight corners particularly susceptible to contact. While minimally abraded for a "slug" there are two small planchet voids on the rock that the eagle is perched upon. Much luster is present over the rich-colored amber-gold surfaces, with a glint of greenish (likely alloyed silver) near the date and over the eagle. A nice example of this historic coinage, listed on page 368 of the 2011 Guide Book. (PCGS# 10211)
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