1852 U.S. Assay Office of Gold, Fifty Dollar "Slug"
Post Lot Text
Die notes: Octagonal format. 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, 887 THOUS:, is inscribed. Surrounding: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and below, FIFTY DOLLS. Outside of circle but inside rim is the inscription: UNITED STATES ASSAY OFFICE OF GOLD CALIFORNIA 1852. Reverse with engine turning design. Different die from that illustrated as Kagin-13 (note end of scroll and its relationship to ST (STATES). Reeded edge. Die state: Obverse with triangular cud from border extending to touch O (CALIFORNIA). PCGS Data: This is the single finest of two examples from the S.S. Central America treasure certified by PCGS.Swan Song of the Octagonal $50 "Slug" The year 1852 saw the final mintage of coins of this denomination by the U.S. Assay Office of Gold. By this time, enough $5, $10, and $20 coins had been struck by various entities that the need for the $50 was lessened. By summer 1852 such "slugs" were common in banking houses, exchange offices, and gambling halls. Large numbers were also exported, as along with ingots the $50 pieces simplified the tallying of large remittances. In time, the $50 was "missed," and in 1855, additional examples were made by another firm, Wass, Molitor & Co. (see later listing). By this year the United States Assay Office of Gold was no longer in operation.