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    Description

    1852 U.S. Assay Office of Gold Fifty, XF40
    K-14, .900 Fineness
    Impressive Gold Rush Relic

    1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 900 Thous. XF40 PCGS. K-14, High R.5. The August 31, 1852 bill passed by Congress that prohibited acceptance of gold coins for customs duties of less than .900 fineness effectively robbed California of most of its circulating coinage and was a disaster for the regional economy. Ultimately, it was a political maneuver (largely supported by California politicians) to force the government to approve an official branch mint in California, rather than a quasi-official United States Assay Office.

    The crisis was averted with the emergency mintage of 23,800 1852-dated fifty dollar octagonal slugs delivered in January, 1853, followed by large quantities of ten and twenty dollar gold pieces within a few months -- all with .900 fineness, albeit without the proper copper alloy. Few of the octagonal gold pieces survive today, since most of the cumbersome fifty dollar ingots served as a convenient source of gold bullion in the early days of the San Francisco Mint. This attractive XF example displays numerous marks from handling and moderate high point wear, yet it retains the undeniable allure of what is surely the most recognizable relic of California Gold Rush days. Population: 15 in 40, 49 finer (7/17).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# ANHH, PCGS# 10019)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2017
    7th-10th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,835

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