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Neil S Berman
Expert Numismatist & Rare Coin Dealer

1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. AU58 PCGS

1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. AU58 PCGS1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. AU58 PCGS. K-13, Low R.5. It is most unusual to have two high grade examples of this rare territorial "slug" in the same auction. This is a sharp example with an abundance of luster, that is "hard" and almost prooflike on the obverse. All the major details are clear except for the highest areas on the eagle's shield. The eagle's feathers, breast, and head are all sharply detailed, well struck, and lustrous even in the recessed areas. The banner proclaiming the gold as .887-fine in purity is sharply outlined above the eagle's head. A shallow but long, thin depression runs from the center obverse down to the edge near 4 o'clock. This appears to be a coining flaw but could be an ancient scratch. Myriad tiny abrasions are present, an almost-always seen feature on these huge, heavy pieces. The coins banged against each other even when new, and took on marks. The edges and rims are remarkably clean, an unusual state for coins so easily bruised. The "watchwork" engraving of the reverse shows a few small marks but is generally well defined and clear, its symmetrical pattern 1852 $50 Assay Office Fifty Dollar, 887 Thous. AU58 PCGSproducing a wondrous, subdued "flow" of light as the coin is turned and admired. All in all, a nicely struck territorial, far above average and well preserved with just slight evidence of use, and an historic piece of true California "Barbary Coast" history. Listed on page 351 of the 2007 Guide Book.












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