1852 1 Humbert $10
Post Lot Text
Die notes Dies attributed to Kuner (after Wright); this attribution being the same for subsequently listed Humbert issues. Obverse with central motif of eagle perched on a rock, holding a shield, and in its beak a long ribbon inscribed LIBERTY. Above, a label or cartouche on which the fineness, 884 THOUS:, is inscribed. Surrounding: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and below, TEN DOLS. Reverse with engine turning design above and below cartouche inscribed: AUGUSTUS HUMBERT UNITED STATES ASSAYER OF GOLD. CALIFORNIA. 1852 1. Reverse die originally made with date 1851 in anticipation of coinage authorization (which did not materialize that year). In 1852, a 2 was punched over the 1, creating the overdate 1852 1. Reeded edge. Die state: Obverse die perfect. Reverse with large crack from 12 o'clock, extending across the die to the 4 o'clock position. This is the usually seen (and illustrated) state. PCGS Data: Tied with two others for finest of 12 examples from the S.S. Central America treasure certified by PCGS.$10 and $20 Assay Office Coins On February 12, 1852, the Alta California carried this: "Moffat & Co. take great pleasure in announcing to the public that they have received by the mail of yesterday instructions from the Treasury Department authorizing the issue from the United States Assay Office of ingots of the denomination of ten and twenty dollars, and that they are prepared to issue the same this day. "The tens will have a fineness of 884 thousandths, and will weigh 262-7 10 grains. The twenties will be of the same fineness and will weigh 525-4 10 grains. No more coin will be manufactured bearing the stamp of 'Moffat & Co.' and that already issued will be redeemed whenever demanded. "Notice. Moffat & Co. will hereafter, independently of their contract with the United States Government, receive gold dust for melting and assaying, and return the same in bullion, at a charge of 1 on its value. The bars will at all times be ready for delivery within 48 hours." On February 16, John Little Moffat withdrew from the partnership, which then became known as Curtis, Perry & Ward, although the familiar Moffat name was later used on a $20 gold coin of 1853. Production of coins throughout the year was extensive, and together with the competing coins of Wass, Molitor & Co. (of which more will be related) seemed to have alleviated the shortage. For the first time in the Gold Rush, by March 1852 coins were plentiful in circulation.