A fascinating corner of US numismatic history is in the spotlight as the latest Month-Long Heritage Auction focuses on Fractional gold. These small coins, privately minted in California during and after the gold rush by various minters, come in denominations of 25 cents, 50 cents, and one dollar, and in both round and octagonal shapes. Obverses commonly depict Liberty or an Indian, and less frequently George Washington.
One piece in this auction that has attracted early attention is the finest certified example of the BG-423 Liberty Round 50 Cents, graded MS64 by PCGS. This rare Period One round half dollar variety was struck by M. Deriberpie. PCGS lists 19 examples of this issue, including possible duplication; NGC has graded only one coin. This piece is the sole finest certified. Both sides display bright yellow-gold luster and reflective fields, with a bold strike. This coin is struck from the late die state, showing a heavy die break at eight o’clock on the obverse.
The 1872 Washington Round 25 Cents, BG-818, graded MS66 by NGC, is a conditionally scarce Premium Gem example of this popular issue, struck by Frontier & Bellemere. BG-818 is the sole round quarter Washington Head variety, and as a California small denomination gold type coin, it is subject to strong collector demand. The rich orange-gold surfaces are more lustrous than prooflike, and are uniformly unabraded. The devices are well-struck, adding to the incredible eye appeal.
Here are a few additional highlights:
- 1852 50C Liberty Round 50 Cents, BG-427, Low R.6, MS62 PCGS
- Undated $1 Liberty Octagonal 1 Dollar, BG-501, Low R.5, AU58+ PCGS
- 1871 25C Liberty Octagonal 25 Cents, BG-716, R.6, MS67 PCGS
- 1871 25C Liberty Octagonal 25 Cents, BG-717, R.3, MS68 PCGS
- 1873 25C Liberty Head Octagonal 25 Cents, BG-728, R.3, MS67+ PCGS
- 1872/1 50C Indian Octagonal 50 Cents, BG-937, High R.4, MS66 Deep Mirror Prooflike PCGS
This auction is scheduled to run through June 15, with the live session scheduled for 5PM CT. Place your bids now at coins.HA.com.