1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Kagin-5. 880 THOUS. Target Rev. Octagonal Reeded Edge Rarity-5 AU-55 PCGS.

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / Collections Start Price:18,500.00 USD Estimated At:55,000.00 - 80,000.00 USD
1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Kagin-5. 880 THOUS. Target Rev. Octagonal Reeded Edge Rarity-5 AU-55 PCGS.
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A lovely example of both the variety and the new reeded edge style. The honey-gold surfaces are host to lively retained luster and rich orange-gold iridescence throughout. Nicely struck overall, though modest circulation has diminished the highest design points; the central arrow heads and shafts are still plainly visible.
The new style “reeded edge” octagonal $50, from dies reportedly engraved by local artisan Albert Kuner, has rims that no longer round off to the edge, but that instead are squared and precise, especially on the obverse. All the information that was stamped by hand on the edge of varieties K-1 through K-4 is now seen on the obverse, and the denomination appears for the first time as FIFTY DOLLS. The rims on these big gold pieces often suffer from circulation, but in this instance, they are free of all but a few tiny bruises. Additionally, all the design features are now incorporated into the die; no longer would these big gold coins be stamped by hand at any point – from press-to-pocket, so to speak. When fully struck the central eagle-on-rock motif of these pieces rivals that of the finest designs of any era or style of U.S. coinage. Pleasing to the eye at every turn.
Without the burden of having to strike the edges eight times, the U.S. Assay Office was able to ramp up production significantly. In fact according to some reports they achieved a production lever of 2,000 of these “ingots” a day. Despite their large size and 2 ½ ounces of weight, they seem to have been used extensively in commese; especially in the gambling halls. And as an official coin of the U.S. government, they drove out most of their private companies rivals. (Of course it didn’t hurt that Humbert and another coiner by the name of James King of William spread “false news” about those other private coiners. We recommend reading, Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States by your cataloger for a more indepth recounting of this story).
Eventually, the vast majority of these large coins were melted and perhaps only several hundreds exist today; this being one of the nicest, wholesome non-mint state coins we have handled.
PCGS Population: 10; 7 finer (MS-62 finest).
PCGS # 10211