Reed Hawn Collection - Stack’s 10/1993:1173, $21,000 - Klamath Mountain Collection - Heritage 1/2014:5621, $440,625 - Heritage 1/2016:5720, $381,875
Riverboat Collection - Heritage 4/2014:5418, $223,250 - Stack’s Bowers 5/2015:105, not sold
Charles G. Wright Family Collection - Heritage 8/2014:5482, $176,250
Superior 10/1989:5537, $36,300
Riverboat Collection - Heritage 4/2014:5417, $99,875
Goldbergs 9/2006:2561, $132,250
Pacific Rim Collection - Heritage 8/2007:2112, $86,250
The $50 gold pieces issued by the United States Assay Office of Gold in San Francisco in the early 1850's were not actually coins per se. Rather, they were called "ingots" at the time; today, we know them as "Slugs." Their real value, besides that stated on their face, was in standardizing the jumble of over-valued, underweight, and off-purity private issues prevalent at the time. Nowadays, the $50 slugs are among the most popular of all California gold pieces.
High-grade examples are very difficult to locate. Because of their high intrinsic value, the large majority of them have been melted down over the years. Those that entered circulation were subject to all the injuries that a heavy gold coin might receive, especially bumps and bruises on the corners. Because of their high numismatic value, many have been repaired or otherwise "improved" over the years. Finding an example with original "skin" and that crusty, old-gold look is well-nigh impossible. In our search for coins for the PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census, we've come across a few (these all refer to the 1851 $5 Humbert Reeded Edge, 887 THOUS variety). In 2016, an NGC MS65 was offered for sale at a fixed price of $625,000. In January 2017k, a PCGS MS63 example sold for $352,500. An NGC MS63 example sold for $176,250 inm 2014. A PCGS MS62 example sold for $223,250 in 2014, then failed to sell when it reappeared in 2015. At least four or five additonal, lower-level Unc. examples are known.
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