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SERIES: (None)
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1851 $50 RE Humbert 880 Thous (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS62

PCGS AU58

PCGS AU55
PCGS #:
10211
Diameter:
Designer:
Weight:
Edge:
Mintage:
Metal Content:
Gold
Auction Record:
$460,000 • NGC MS65 • 9-1-2008 • Bowers & Merena
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12
18,500
12
15
19,500
2
15
45+
45,000
45+
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59,500
50+
53+
69,500
53+
55+
82,500
55+
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100,000
58+
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150,000
60
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 estimated grade  

Bowers & Merena 9/2008:681, $460,000

2 MS62 PCGS grade

Flannagan Territorial Collection - Legend 12/2013:266, $299,000 (plate-matched) - Kagin’s

3 MS61 PCGS grade  
3 MS61 PCGS grade  
5 AU58 PCGS grade
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 estimated grade  

Bowers & Merena 9/2008:681, $460,000

2 MS62 PCGS grade

Flannagan Territorial Collection - Legend 12/2013:266, $299,000 (plate-matched) - Kagin’s

3 MS61 PCGS grade  
3 MS61 PCGS grade  
5 AU58 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade  
5 AU58 PCGS grade  
5 AU58 PCGS grade  
9 AU58 estimated grade  

Bowers & Merena 4/2008:711, $149,500

10 AU58 estimated grade  

Bowers & Merena 10/2000:2036, $17,825

Ron Guth: This is the second generation of $50 "slugs" produced under the auspices of Augustus Humbert, who ran the U.S. Assay Office of gold in San Francisco, California.  Unlike the various private firms producing their own ingots and coins during this period, the U.S. Assay Office was an officially sanctioned operation. 

This "new and improved" version of the $50 slug eliminated some of the time-consuming operations involved with the production of the earliest versions.  Most notably, the legends that had to be applied by hand to the edge faces in the first issues were now engraved into the face (obverse) die.  This one improvement eliminated seven single steps in production.  Also, the date (1851) and fineness (880) appeared in the die instead of having to be punched in by hand, eliminating two more steps.  Reeding replaced the former edge lettering to prevent clipping or shaving.

Don Kagin assigned this version K-5 in his 1981 "Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States."  Kagin listed this variety as Low R-5, representing approximately 75-100 survivors.

Because of their heavy weight, many of these coins have bruises or dents on the corners, thus they should all be examined carefully for evidence of repair.  High grade examples are very rare, with only a few Uncirculated examples known.  The finest known example is an amazing NGC MS65* sold by Bowers & Merena for a whopping $460,000 back in 2008.