The so-called assay offices are provisional mixed private-public mints that were operated until the establishment of a permanent state mint. This example was produced by the company Moffat & Co. together with the watchmaker Augustus Humbert. These coins, also called “Humbert fifties” or “slugs,” were accepted by the government and for payment of duties. Due to their high denomination of 50 Dollars they were widely used in larger transactions by banks and merchants. However, they were inconvenient and failed because of the need for smaller denominations for daily transactions. Although the Humbert slugs were manufactured in large quantities, most were eventually melted. The surviving examples are heavily worn or impaired, and often are both.
This 50 Dollars from 1851 will be auctioned at Emporium Hamhurg Numismatics in the Auction 104 on November 22nd starting 08:30 under Lot Number 1927. The starting bid is 22.000€.