Goldbergs auctions U.S. coins, paper money Jan. 25 to 27
- Published: Jan 2, 2015, 10 AM
A key-date 1896-S Barber quarter dollar, an 1800 Draped Bust, Dotted Date dollar and an 1851 Augustus Humbert, Lettered Edge $50 octagonal gold slug are among 2,834 lots of U.S. coins, tokens, medals and paper money to be offered Jan. 25 to 27 in Los Angeles.
The sale, by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, is being conducted at the auction firm’s galleries at 11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 800.
For complete information on the sale, visit the online auction catalog.
The 1896-S Barber quarter dollar is graded Mint State 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service.
While the 1896-S is perceived by some quarter dollar collectors to be the least challenging of the “Big Three” Barber quarter issues to acquire — 1896-S, 1901-S and 1913-S — that perception holds true only for circulated pieces, according to the auction catalogers.
The 1896-S quarter dollar, despite a mintage of 188,039 compared to 72,664 for the 1901-S coin and 40,000 for the 1913-S coin, is more elusive than the later 1913-S quarter dollar in Mint State grades.
The 1913-S coin, according to the auction catalogers, “was known to be a low-mintage issue from the start, and as a result, collectors from the burgeoning numismatic population of the early 20th century saved numerous examples.
“By contrast, the 1896-S slipped unnoticed into circulation, and it was not until much later that the issue was recognized as a condition rarity.”
Dotted Date dollar
The Dotted Date variety of 1800 Draped Bust dollar, graded PCGS MS-63, is attributed as Bowers-Borckardt 194 in Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States, by Q. David Bowers, with Mark Borckardt.
The variety receives its moniker from the series of dotlike die breaks inside and above the first 0 in the date. Dotlike breaks are also visible in other areas of the obverse, specifically between the L and I of LIBERTY, under the nose, before the chin, below the first star, and under stars 6 and 7.
“We theorize the steel used to make this obverse die must have been substandard, yet from the production numbers, it must have been able to withstand the constant pounding to strike these large pieces of silver,” according to the auction catalogers.
The 1800 Draped Bust dollar has a reported mintage of 220,920 coins combined for all varieties.
Territorial Gold Slug
Graded PCGS About Uncirculated 55 and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corp., the 1851 Augustus Humbert, U.S. Assay Office, Lettered Edge $50 octagonal gold slug is the Kagin 4 variety, as attributed in Donald H. Kagin’s Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States.
The coin’s gold fineness of 887 THOUS. is inscribed on the ribbon above the eagle’s head on the obverse. 50 as the denomination appears ar the center of the target reverse, with 50 D C representing the denomination below the eagle.
The edge is lettered AUGUSTUS / HUMBERT / UNITED / STATES / ASSAYER / OF GOLD, / CALIFORNIA / 1851.
The $50 gold slugs were used in large transactions during the early years of California’s statehood. California became a state on Sept. 9, 1850.
Citizens favored the gold pieces, rejecting paper money that had been made illegal in the state under the 1850 California Constitution.
The octagonal $50 slugs were last made in 1852, after which the U.S. Assay Office in San Francisco, was closed. Despite the closure, the gold slugs continued to be accepted in commerce. Some found their way into the melting pots of the various federal Mints for eventual recoining into federal coinage.
According to the auction catalogers: “Generally speaking, all varieties of the U.S. Assay Office fifty dollar octagonal coins are very scarce; however, the Reeded Edge varieties are somewhat more obtainable than their earlier Lettered Edge counterparts.”
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