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    Description

    Extremely Fine 1852 Assay Office Fifty, K-14, High R.5

    1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 900 Thous. XF40 PCGS. K-14, High R.5. Although federal authorities in 1852 told the San Francisco customs collector that he could no longer accept coinage of fineness lower than 900, the local business community managed to accede to the unreasonable demand. Fortunately, the recent gold deposits were of higher fineness than previously, so the U.S. Assay Office was able to produce gold at the higher standard. 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 to circulate. Donald Kagin notes that the 1852-dated octagonal pieces with .900 THOUS on the ribbon above the eagle were "emergency issues of which 13,800 were made in January, 1853 and 10,000 in February, 1853." There was apparently no time for preparation of new 1853-dated dies, or perhaps such dies were viewed as wasteful in light of the various ten- and twenty-dollar issues in circulation.
    This piece shows orange-gold surfaces with moderate wear and evidence of contact consistent with the grade, and there are no major impairments or rim bumps evident, refreshingly so. The coin is solid and appealing for the grade. Listed on page 364 of the 2009 Guide Book.
    From the Fern E. Wagner Trust.


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


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

    View all of [The Fern E. Wagner Trust ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    26th-29th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
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