14 December 2000
$5, 1848-C VF-20 (PCGS). Pale greenish gold surfaces. Weak obverse definition is expected for authentic examples of this grade, and the present coin does not violate the rule. The reverse is somewhat sharper, also as expected for the 1848-C. The mintmark is especially bold.
This issue, with a mintage of 64,472 coins, ranks 17 out of 24 half eagle issues from the North Carolina Mint. When one considers the history of this issue, the grade is not surprising. Struck in North Carolina and entering commerce, this coin was eventually carried to California where it was probably carried by a passenger who boarded the S.S. Sonora sailing to Panama, traveling overland across the isthmus, and joining other gold coins on the S.S. Central America for its star-crossed voyage. Many of the half eagles offered herein, if in California during the Gold Rush days, likely saw extensive use in casinos. A few years later, these same gold coins were used extensively in commerce in California, along side the various territorial issues.
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Post Lot Text
This is the only example of this issue certified by PCGS as part of the S.S. Central America treasure.
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