1852 $10 Humbert MS (PCGS# 10187)

2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago #1184

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    4058
  • Grade:
    MS68
  • Price:
    $1,057,500.00
Lot Description
1852 $10 Humbert Ten Dollar MS68 NGC. CAC. Kagin-10, R.5. The United States Assay Office operated as a provisional mint from 1851 through 1853 prior to the San Francisco Mint, which opened in 1854. The provisional mint was operated under the supervision of Moffat & Co. in 1851 and 1852, Augustus Humbert serving as the assayer. After Moffat retired early in 1852, Curtis, Perry, and Ward continued the operation. Throughout the three year period, gold coins were issued in the denominations of ten, twenty, and fifty dollars. The earlier issues under Moffat & Co., such as this specimen, identify Augustus Humbert as the United States Assayer of Gold in California, while later pieces omit Humbert's name. Description of the Dies The obverse depicts an eagle above a shield with wings spread, its head turned toward its left wing, arrows in one talon, an olive branch in the other talon, holding a ribbon inscribed LIBERTY in its beak. Below the eagle, the denomination is expressed as TEN DOLS. with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around. A scroll in the field over the eagle expresses the gold purity as 884 THOUS:. The shield is crudely engraved, with no horizontal crossbars and five vertical stripes. The leftmost and rightmost vertical stripes have two individual lines (i.e. two pale gules) while the three central stripes have three lines each (three pale gules). The entire obverse die is covered with tiny raised dots usually described as die rust, along with a spider web of die cracks far too numerous to itemize. The reverse has a central block for its inscription: AUGUSTUS HUMBERT. / UNITED STATES ASSAYER / OF GOLD. CALIFORNIA. / 1852. The areas above and below are filled with elaborate scrollwork. There is no evidence of lettering errors or repunching on either die. The letters in the reverse inscription were formed through the use of individual punches. The letter A appears six times on the reverse, and each has an identical doubled crossbar.
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