There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.
Lot
2118

1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 900 Thous. 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: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
1,252 page views
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Description:
Mint State 1852 Assay Office 'Slug,' 900 Thous., K-14, R.5
Boldly Struck and Appealing
1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 900 Thous. MS60 NGC. K-14, High R.5. As late as December 1851, the federal government "back East" had refused to grant the Humbert-Moffat U.S. Assay Office operation permission for the coinage of the smaller denominations of five, ten, and twenty dollars that were so sorely needed for the conduct of normal business. (More technically, it granted such permission, only to rescind it the following day because a new Mint was expected to be built, sooner rather than later. As reality would have it, the Mint was established later rather than sooner, finally opening its doors for coinage in April 1854.) Meanwhile, the inexorable glut of the ubiquitous fifty dollar octagonal "slugs" that were the only federally authorized gold coinage on the West Coast continued to flow from the coinage presses at the U.S. Assay Office with increasing speed and efficiency. In early 1852 it was announced that John L. Moffat had sold his interest in Moffat & Co. The Assay Office reorganized under Curtis, Perry, and Ward, retaining interest in the Moffat & Co. name. A competitor firm, Wass, Molitor & Co., began producing gold in ten and twenty dollar denominations, alleviating some of the pressure for the smaller coins. In February the Assay Office received permission to strike smaller denominations, producing overdated 1852/1 and normal-date 1852 ten and twenty dollar pieces.
Although the federal authorities in 1852 communicated to the customs collector in San Francisco that he could no longer accept coinage that did not comply with the 900 fineness of federal gold, the local business community managed to accede to the fairly unreasonable demand. Fortunately, the recent deposits of gold were of higher fineness than previously, so that the U.S. Assay Office was able to produce gold at the higher standard. (The mandate that half of the alloy had to be silver, with the rest copper, was more problematic, but again, a workaround was found since copper was unavailable.) After October 1852, according to Bowers' A California Gold Rush History, "nearly all ingots issued by the Assay Office were 900 thousandths fine." Coinage of the U.S. Assay Office fifty dollar ingots ceased in 1853, since they were no longer needed or wanted after the lower-denomination pieces began circulation, and the Assay Office closed its doors in December 1853 to make way for the San Francisco Mint, which began coinage in April 1854.
The surfaces of this lovely coin appear suggestive of a higher grade, as both the centers and peripheries are blessed by a bold strike that is head and shoulders better than usually seen on these pieces. Perhaps the harder 900 fine gold made a difference, yet the piece was perhaps downgraded for a couple of light pinscrapes on the reverse. A nice and appealing representative of this late issue in the Moffat-Humbert-Assay Office saga, listed on page 355 of the 2008 Guide Book.
From The Pacific Rim Collection.
(PCGS# 10019)

View all of [The Pacific Rim Collection ]
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
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
908,229
bidder-members
$972,953,441
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 17 days left to consign to the 2015 January 28 - February 2 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!
Learn About Consigning With Us
Needless to say I was overwhelmed by the results of the auction and I truly believe it was Jill’s efforts in promoting and displaying the piece that brought in the extra value.
Joan,
Arlington, MN
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 November 14 - 15 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Part V US Coins Signature Auction - New York
2014 November 14 - 15 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Part V US Coins Signature Auction - New York
REALIZED $10,408,819
2014 September 3 - 10 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
2014 September 3 - 10 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $9,040,554
2014 September 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
2014 September 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo World Currency Signature Auction - Long Beach
REALIZED $1,817,724