Description

    1851 Humbert Fifty, MS63
    Reeded Edge, 887 Thous., K-7 Variety
    Finest Certified at PCGS

    1851 $50 RE Humbert Fifty Dollar, Reeded Edge, 887 Thous. MS63 NGC. K-7, R.4. The large octagonal 50 dollar slugs issued by the U.S. Assay Office (Augustus Humbert, assayer) in 1851 and 1852 are certainly the most easily recognizable coins of the Gold Rush period. They were struck in several varieties over this two year period, in both lettered edge and reeded edge formats. The present coin represents the K-7 variety, with a reeded edge and 887 Thous. fineness. The K-7 is differentiated from its K-6 counterpart (which shares the same obverse) by the smaller concentric circles on the reverse and the outer ribbon placed further from the edge.

    This remarkable Select example is the single-finest certified at PCGS, while NGC has graded six coins at this level, with one finer (6/17). Actually, we suspect the NGC totals may be inflated by resubmissions, as we can find only five auction records of an 1851 Reeded Edge, 887 Thous. Humbert fifty in MS63 condition in our Auction Archives. Two of those records represent the same coin, a K-6 example.

    The coin offered here displays well-detailed design elements, with just a touch of the usual softness on the central obverse. The vivid orange-gold surfaces show a few highlights of lilac, with vibrant mint luster on both sides. Only a few minor edge bruises and contact marks prevent an even higher grade. The current prices realized record for a business-strike Humbert fifty (the Humbert/Garrett specimen was called a proof) was recently set by the MS62 PCGS K-6 specimen in lot 5621 of the FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2014), which brought $440,625. We expect this higher-graded example of a slightly scarcer variety will generate even greater competition when this lot is called. Listed on page 396 of the 2018 Guide Book. (NGC ID# ANH9, PCGS# 10214)


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

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    2nd-6th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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