Would you pay $100,000 for this octagonal $50 gold coin?

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The rough value of this? Yeah, I have an MS example of every other coin in the Pan Pac set (MS63 $2.50 ran me over $3k) and $100k is an amazing price for this coin. I’m a huge Pan Pac collector, and if I had the money to spare, I would buy this in a heartbeat.

The Augustus Humbert $50 Octagonal coins were issued in 1851 and 1852 by the United States Assay Office of Gold in San Francisco. These coins, designed by Augustus Humbert, were octagonal in shape and carried a $50 denomination. They were not commonly used for regular transactions but were well-received in the Western United States due to the scarcity of official coins at the time.

MS graded coins are 60 and above. AU53 is almost uncirculated, not mint state. Coinfacts shows sales for MS53 for a low of around $16,000 and a high of $48,000. Not sure when those were or why there’s such a big difference if they are both MS53.

The 1852 version of these coins, graded MS-62 and bearing a green CAC sticker, was sold for $276,125 at an auction.

what is the history of augustus humbert $50 octagonal? The history of Augustus Humbert $50 Octagonal coins traces back to the frenzied Gold Rush era in California. In 1850, Augustus Humbert, a skilled watchmaker from New York, assumed the role of United States Assayer of Gold in California. Faced with the challenge of accurately assessing the value of gold dust and ore, he established a quasi-official assay office. This office was tasked with the crucial role of transforming raw gold into tangible currency, addressing the pressing need for reliable coinage in the region.

Humbert’s ingots, ranging from $50 to $10,000 in value, were meticulously crafted from refined gold of varying fineness. Among his creations, the $50 octagonal ingots struck in 1851 stood out prominently. These substantial pieces, weighing approximately 2.5 ounces, boasted intricate designs featuring a heraldic eagle on the obverse. Surrounding the edge were inscriptions such as “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “AUGUSTUS HUMBERT UNITED STATES ASSAYER OF GOLD, CALIFORNIA 1851.”

Embraced by merchants, bankers, and miners alike, these octagonal gold ingots quickly gained acceptance throughout California. They served as a practical form of currency during a time of economic turbulence, finding particular utility in settling duties at the bustling Port of San Francisco. However, the advent of the U.S. Mint’s control over the Assay Office in 1853 signaled the end of production for these distinctive coins. The mint’s shift towards minting less cumbersome $20 gold pieces marked the cessation of an era.

Today, Augustus Humbert $50 Octagonal coins hold significant allure for collectors, prized for their historical importance and rarity. Variations in design, such as those featuring reeded edges or differing fineness levels, only add to their captivating appeal, making them highly sought-after pieces in numismatic circles.

what is the significance of the octagonal shape of augustus humbert $50 The significance of the octagonal shape in Augustus Humbert’s $50 coins transcends mere aesthetics, encompassing both historical context and numismatic importance. During the tumultuous Gold Rush era in California, Humbert responded to the pressing need for reliable currency by crafting these distinctive octagonal gold ingots. Their creation was spurred by the scarcity of official coins and the imperative for accurate assays in a region defined by its frenzied pursuit of gold.

Unlike the conventional round coins and ingots of the time, Humbert’s decision to adopt the octagonal shape was deliberate and multifaceted. Beyond its visual distinctiveness, the octagonal design served practical purposes as well. It likely acted as a deterrent against shaving or tampering with the edges of the coin, safeguarding the integrity of its gold content—an essential consideration in an environment marked by uncertainty and opportunism.

Moreover, the choice of the octagonal shape represented more than just a departure from tradition; it symbolized innovation and adaptability during a period characterized by rapid growth and transformation in the American West. Humbert’s unconventional design reflected the spirit of ingenuity and pragmatism that defined the era—a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of those who sought their fortunes amidst the chaos of the Gold Rush.

Today, the rarity and unconventional shape of the Augustus Humbert $50 Octagonal coins continue to captivate collectors and investors alike, elevating their value and historical significance within the numismatic realm. Their scarcity, coupled with their unique design, ensures their enduring appeal, cementing their status as prized artifacts of America’s pioneering past.

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