1851 $50 US Assay Office 'ingot' sells for $100,000 at Spink

An 1851 $50 US Assay Office "ingot" has sold for $100,000 at Spink New York, headlining the Numismatic Collector's Series sale on June 18.

The lot was created as a temporary solution to the lack of a branch mint in San Francisco at the height of the gold rush in 1851.

Assay Office ingot
Moffat & Sonissued the coin under a federal license

A private company, Moffat & Son, which operated under federal license, was responsible for the issue. Spink explained: "The act authored 'ingots' of $50 to be struck, consisting of refined gold '�Ǫ.of uniform fineness�Ǫ.'

"Legends were to include the words 'LIBERTY' and 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.' These "ingots" would circulate like Federal coins, but their metallurgic composition differed from the gold coins that were issued by the official U. S. Mints."

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