Augustus Humbert $50 Gold Realizes $460K
By Bowers and Merena
Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and
currency auction house, hosted their Beverly
Hills Rarities Sale on Saturday, September 13,
2008, at The Tower Beverly Hills. The 933-lot
auction of high-end rarities realized a total of
The spotlight of the auction was on the new
discovery 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold piece
of the Reeded Edge, 880 THOUS (K-5, Rarity-5)
variety graded MS-65 * by NGC that realized
$460,000 after an excited round of bidding.
Prior to the auction, NGC chairman Mark Salzburg
called it "the most memorable coin I have graded
It is the only Humbert gold coin of any
denomination with an NGC grade of MS-65 *, and
no Humbert gold coins of any denomination or
variety have been graded finer than MS-65 at
either PCGS or NGC.
"A new discovery piece the caliber of this
Humbert is so special and rare that I can think
of only a very few in this league that I have
come across in my 40-year span in the business,"
said Steve Deeds, president.
"It is very exciting to be able to present a
coin like this to the world of collectors who
will appreciate it for its history and value to
the numismatic community. This is a showcase
piece for its new owner and one that will be
remembered for years to come."
Also at the top of the list is an impressive
near-Mint preservation 1859-O Liberty Double
Eagle, Winter Variety One, the only known dies,
from the Centennial Collection and graded AU-58
by NGC that realized $97,750. The 1859-O is a
leading rarity in the New Orleans Mint Double
Eagle series. A mere 75-85 pieces are believed
extant in all grades – a total that confirms the
1859-O as rarer than all other O-mint coins of
this denomination with the exception of the
1854-O, 1855-O, and 1856-O. The ‘59-O is equally
as elusive as the lower-mintage ‘79-O of the
Type III design.
Following close behind the 1859-O is an 1854
Liberty Double Eagle, Large Date in NGC MS-64,
also from the Centennial Collection, that
realized $96,600. An elusive variety in all
grades, this extraordinary representative is
among the finest known with a combined PCGS and
NGC Population of just 3, and none are finer at
Also notable is a 1928 Hawaiian
Sesquicentennial, Proof-65 (NGC), which realized
$86,250. This coin is listed as the No. 8
specimen in the Breen/Swiatek reference, which
means that it was initially presented to
Juliette May Fraser, a native of Honolulu who is
credited with sketching the design for the
Hawaiian Commemorative Half Dollar. In addition
to the impressive pedigree, the coin was
accompanied by numerous supporting items and
documents that further enhanced its importance.
Beverly Hills Rarities Sale Auction Highlights
49 1895 Indian Cent. MS-67 RD (PCGS). $36,800
Lot 120 1867 Shield Nickel. Rays. Proof-64 (PCGS).
CAC. OGH. $41,975
Lot 168 1931-S Buffalo Nickel. MS-67 (PCGS).
Lot 201 1840-O Seated Liberty Dime. No Drapery.
Greer-102. Small O. MS-65 (NGC). $46,000
Lot 207 1873-CC Seated Liberty Dime. Arrows.
AU-55 (NGC). $40,250
Lot 295 1928-S Standing Liberty Quarter. Large
S. MS-68 FH (NGC). $29,900
Lot 379 1798 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. Large
Eagle. BB-105. B-23. Rarity-3. Pointed 9, Wide
Date. MS-62 (PCGS). CAC. $43,700
Lot 555 1924 Peace Silver Dollar. MS-68 (NGC).
Lot 619 1928 Hawaiian Sesquicentennial. Proof-65
Lot 681 1851 Augustus Humbert. $50 Gold. K-5.
Rarity-5-. Reeded Edge, 880 THOUS. MS-65 *
Lot 708 1804 Capped Bust Right Quarter Eagle.
BD-2, HBCC-3011. Rarity-4. 14-Star Reverse.MS-62
(PCGS). CAC. $63,250
Lot 764 1893 Liberty Half Eagle. MS-68 (PCGS).
Lot 822 1852 Liberty Double Eagle. MS-64 (PCGS).
Lot 829 1853-O Liberty Double Eagle. Winter
Variety One, the only known dies. MS-61 (NGC).
Lot 831 1854 Liberty Double Eagle. Large Date.
MS-64 (NGC). $96,600
Lot 835 1856 Liberty Double Eagle. MS-63 (NGC).
Lot 845 1859-O Liberty Double Eagle. Winter
Variety One, the only known dies. AU-58 (NGC).
Lot 919 1924-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. MS-65
Prices realized for all lots in the Bowers and
Merena Beverly Hills Rarities Sale are available
online at www.bowersandmerena.com.
Bowers and Merena’s next auction will be held
October 27-28 in New York City with simulcast
auction rooms in Hong Kong and Germany,
featuring two premier collections of Chinese,
Russian and World banknotes, "The East Bay
Collection of International Banknotes" and "The
Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection." The
auction will be spearheaded by Bowers and Merena
in conjunction with sister companies John Bull
Auctions, Ltd., of Hong Kong, and Heinrich
Köhler Auktionshaus of Germany. Complete lot
viewing and auction schedules are available at
www.bowersandmerena.com and catalogs will be
available in print and online by early October.