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    1851 Lettered Edge Humbert Fifty, K-4
    887 Thous., 50 Reverse, AU Details

    1851 $50 LE Humbert Fifty Dollar, Lettered Edge, 887 Thous., 50 Reverse -- Reverse Rim Filed -- NGC Details. AU. K-4, R.5. Moffat & Co. received the contract to operate as the United States Assay Office in late 1850. New York watchmaker Augustus Humbert was brought in as United States assayer, and oversaw the production of these massive fifty dollar ingots beginning in January 1851. Although far too cumbersome for general commerce and largely regarded as a nuisance among Westerners, they were among the few coins accepted for payments at the Custom House and a necessary evil. Today, of course, they are widely beloved among collectors, who admire them for their impressive size, iconic octagonal shape, and historical significance.

    The Lettered Edge Humbert 1851 fifty dollar issues are particularly unsuited to the current system of third-party grading and encapsulation, as one of the most interesting features of the coins is the edge lettering, difficult or sometimes impossible to read given the current technologies. The hand-stamped lettering on all eight edges has led to some remarkable inversions, transpositions, and other blunders known in that area.

    This AU Details example displays bright yellow-gold surfaces with a trace of red. The strike is remarkably strong for the type. A couple of minor marks appear below the scroll on the obverse and one below the 0 in 50 on the reverse. The rim filing is only noticeable on one side, the top of the reverse as the coin is turned end-over-end. The satiny luster is a plus, and all eight points are blemish-free on the obverse, with only two minor bumps on the reverse points. An appealing example of this early Humbert issue, listed on page 401 of the 2020 Guide Book.
    Ex: Beverly Hills Signature (Heritage, 11/2011), lot 4542.

    From The Poulos Family Collection, Part II.

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

    View all of [The Poulos Family Collection, Part II ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    5th-8th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 487

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    We also followed the bidding online yesterday here in Salt Lake for the other 3 coins - great fun. Prices realized met or exceeded our expectations.
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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