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    Description

    1855 Wass Molitor Ten Dollar, Near-Mint
    K-6, Almost Never Found Finer

    1855 $10 Wass Molitor Ten Dollar AU58 NGC. K-6, High R.5. The San Francisco Mint opened in 1854, but it was a cramped facility that also lacked sufficient parting acids to strike satisfactory quantities of .900 fine gold coins. West Coast commerce required a steady supply of freshly coined bullion, and since the official mint was not yet up to speed, two private minters stepped in to fill the gap. Kellogg & Co. produced twenty dollar pieces only, while Wass Molitor & Co. produced ten, twenty, and fifty dollar coins.
    These necessity issues imitated Federal designs of their respective denominations, with the exception of the fifty dollar piece, which was more reminiscent of the Federal gold dollar. The ten dollar piece featured a small, relatively close date with the final digit repaired on the obverse die with a circular plug. The minting activities of both Kellogg & Co. and Wass Molitor ceased once the San Francisco Mint was able to resume gold production. Eventually, nearly 880,000 double eagles were struck in 1855, and close to 1.2 million pieces were coined in 1856.
    This almond-gold example is undisturbed aside from an abrasion above star 4 and a few inconspicuous nicks on the left-side rims. The dies were slightly out of alignment when this piece was struck. As a result, design details are sharp along the obverse border between 4 and 10 o'clock, and on the reverse between 8 and 1 o'clock. However, the dies were spaced comparatively widely between the upper right obverse and the lower right reverse. As a result, TEN D and the stars above Liberty's head are weakly impressed, as made. Despite the intermittently soft details, the near-Mint grade is merited by the ample extent of remaining luster. Luster illuminates the stars and legends, and percolates within the eagle's plumage and Liberty's curls. Listed on page 385 of the 2013 Guide Book. Census: 4 in 58, 3 finer (3/08).
    Ex: Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 9/2006), lot 4830; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2007), lot 2164; Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2009), lot 2544, where it brought $26,450.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# ANJR, PCGS# 10354)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    18th-21st Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,083

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