Impressive 1851 Humbert 880 THOUS Slug1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, 880 Thous. 50 Rev. XF45 PCGS. K-1, R-6+. Although the large fifty dollar slugs were an important addition to California commerce, they were boycotted by the bankers and gold dust dealers who could no longer buy gold dust at extremely low rates. Most of the lower denomination private gold issues were melted with the gold used to produce these large pieces, created a serious shortage of smaller denomination coinage in the area. It became extremely difficult to make purchases of any article priced below 50 dollars, as there was no convenient way to make change. Paper currency was illegal according to the California state constitution, and federal authorities forbade the Assay Office to produce smaller denomination pieces until the next year.
This specimen is a lovely example with bright green-gold color and considerable vivid plum toning. The surfaces are lightly abraded, essentially as always, with some wear evident on the highest design points. The wide outer border of the obverse has some flattening, also as usually seen. This example is intriguing for the different punches used. Compare the digit 0 in 880 with that in 50 on the obverse, and also with the 0 in the 50 stamped on the reverse. Each of these digits has a different shape or size. Listed on page 349 of the 2007 Guide Book.
From The Long Beach Family Collection. (NGC ID# ANH2, PCGS# 10199)
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