Extensively-Used 1855 Wass Molitor Fifty, Fine 15
1855 $50 Wass Molitor Fifty Dollar Fine 15 PCGS. K-9, R.5.
The so-called Large Head variant. Because of the large size of the
coin the head still does not seem large, but when compared to the
Small Head twenties of the same year this designation makes more
sense. The Large Head twenty and fifty dollar coins of 1855 had the
central obverse device of Liberty modeled after the federal double
eagles of that time.
Large Head Variant, K-9
Both Wass and Molitor were Hungarian immigrants and both had experience with mining and metallurgy in their native country. The quality of their gold coins was unquestioned and ranked alongside those of Moffat, Kellogg, and Humbert. As a result, they were heavily circulated and they were saved, as the other reputable companies' products were. This is an important distinction when studying this fascinating series. The rarest coins today were usually from companies that had low assay values and subsequent low acceptability in Gold Rush California. This coin is not unusual for a Wass, Molitor. While it is heavily abraded and shows signs of extensive wear, this is how many of these pieces are found because they were widely circulated as trusted stores of value.
The surfaces show heavy marks on each side, most likely from contact with other heavy coins. The fields have a pronounced reddish tinge with lighter, yellow-gold accents over the high points of the devices. Listed on page 373 of the 2009 Guide Book. (NGC ID# ANJU, PCGS# 10363)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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