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    1852/1 Augustus Humbert Ten Dollar, VF30
    Unique Curved Counterstamp

    1852/1 $10 Humbert Ten Dollar, H.H. PIERSON / W.W. LIGHT / DENTIST Counterstamp VF30 NGC. Rulau Calif-132, Brunk-490. Kagin-8 Host Coin. William W. Light (1819-1895) was born on a farm near Bethel, Ohio and was a boyhood friend of Ulysses S. Grant. He studied medicine in Cincinnati, and later practiced dentistry into the 1840s. His August 1849 arrival in California quickly led to a job at the J.S. Ormsby private mint on K Street, where he earned $50 a day cutting dies, and utilized his dental rolling equipment. We wonder if it was W.W. Light who cut the dies for the exceedingly rare J.S. Ormsby five and ten dollar gold pieces! From 1852 to 1861 Light worked in partnership with Dr. H.H. Pierson. It was then when this attractive, well-circulated Humbert ten must have been counterstamped.

    Dr. Light's curved countermark appears on seven or eight known coins of various denominations, but this the only example on a U.S. Assay Office ten dollar gold piece from the Moffat-Humbert era, and the only piece we know of that includes the H.H. Pierson imprint as part of the countermark.

    Counterstamps on gold coins are extremely rare, and this piece is reminiscent of another well-known Sacramento counterstamp by druggist J.L. Polhemus, whose mark appears on many coins, including the famous counterstamp on an 1857-S double eagle. We sold that memorable coin in our November 2018 Dallas Signature auction as Lot 3347 for $52,800. Given the rarity and importance of the H.H. PIERSON / W.W. LIGHT / DENTIST mark on a scarce 1852/1 ten dollar Territorial gold piece, this outstanding Gold Rush relic is certain command a similarly strong price.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,125

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