One of the Month-Long auctions now open for bidding at Heritage Auctions is the March 15 California Fractional Gold US Coins Special Monthly Auction, a selection of 176 pieces of California fractional gold.
These very small coins, privately minted in California from the 1850s to the 1880s, were minted in both octagonal and round shapes. Obverses commonly depict Liberty, an Indian, or George Washington. The majority of coins in this auction are tiny gold 50 cent pieces; others were minted in denominations of 25 cents and $1, and both are also represented here. While these fractional gold coins are often quite rare from an absolute basis, they are not especially expensive, with many issues selling for under $500.
One fascinating and rare piece offered in this auction is an 1875 50C Indian Round 50 Cents, BG-1036, graded MS62+ Deep Prooflike by NGC. This is an extremely rare variety, with only four pieces known according to PCGS. PCGS and NGC combined list six grading events, suggesting duplication. This Plus-designated coin is one of two Deep Prooflike pieces at NGC. The coin is well struck and deeply reflective, with bright butter-gold coloration. Light marks on each side determine the grade, but with a variety this rare one has to wonder if the present offering may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Other notable offerings in this auction include:
- 1866 Liberty Round 25 Cents, BG-823, R.7, MS63 PCGS
- 1870 Liberty Round 25 Cents, BG-836, High R.7, MS61 NGC
- 1871 Liberty Round 25 Cents, BG-837, R.7, MS63 PCGS
- 1872 Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-940, R.4, MS68 NGC
- 1876 Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-949, R.4, MS67star Deep Prooflike NGC
- 1876 Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-950, R.7, MS65 Prooflike NGC
- 1878/6 Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-952, MS67 Deep Prooflike NGC
- 1880 Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-955, R.6, MS68 Prooflike NGC
- 1881 Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-956, High R.4, MS68star Deep Prooflike NGC
- 1874 Indian Round 50 Cents, BG-1071, R.7, MS66star Deep Prooflike NGC
Bidding is open now and continues until the live session at 6 PM CT on October 22. Bid on these coins exclusively at Coins.HA.com.