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    Description

    1852 Moffat & Co. Ten Dollar, AU55
    Emergency Private Coinage Issue
    Wide Date, K-9

    1852 $10 Moffat & Co. Wide Date AU55 NGC. K-9, R.6. The respected firm of Moffat& Co. issued private coinage under their government contract as the U.S. Assay Office of Gold, but their contract limited production to the 50 dollar slugs that have become iconic images of the Gold Rush era. The slugs were useful for paying customs duties and settling large accounts in foreign trade, but they were not practical for smaller everyday purchases.

    When a shortage of smaller denomination coinage threatened the regional economy in 1852, San Francisco merchants and bankers petitioned Moffat & Co. to issue private coinage to fill the gap. The 1852 Moffat ten dollar coins were emergency issues, struck for a short period early in the year when the firm's request to issue the necessary coinage under the Assay Office imprint was refused. Thus the Moffat ten dollar coins were hastily produced with new dies for the obverse and reverse, and the Moffat, rather than the Humbert imprint. Two die varieties are known, with this coin representing the popular K-9 variety. The wider spacing between the 5 and 2 in the date is the obvious diagnostic. Donald Kagin writes in his standard reference from 1981 that "the 264 grains impressed on the reverse complies with comments by the United States mint assayers, Eckfeldt and Dubois, that California gold had to weigh 264 grains to render ten dollars' worth of gold when refined." Including both die varieties, some 8,650 pieces were struck in mid-January 1852. Both varieties are rarely encountered today.

    The present coin is an impressive Choice AU specimen, with only light wear on the strongly impressed design elements. The pleasing orange-gold surfaces show the expected number of minor abrasions for the grade, with some minor rim bumps at 10 o'clock on the reverse. The overall presentation is quite attractive. Listed on page 403 of the 2021 Guide Book. Census: 1 in 55, 5 finer (6/20).
    Selections From The Casady Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# ANJA, PCGS# 10254)


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 311

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