NGC-graded California Gold Tops Heritage US Coins Auction

Posted on 10/16/2018

Two NGC-certified California gold pieces from the 1850s realized $360,000 and $444,000.

Two NGC-certified California gold "slugs" from the 1850s led the way at Heritage Auctions' US Coins Signature Auction in Chicago on October 11.

1855 Kellogg $50, graded NGC PF 63. Realized: $444,000
Click images to enlarge.

An 1855 Kellogg $50, graded NGC PF 63, was the top lot in the auction, realizing $444,000. It is among the finest-graded of the dozen or so known survivors of an original mintage thought to be only about twice that.

Private firms stepped in during the California Gold Rush to meet the new state's coinage needs. These companies helped fill a void until the San Francisco branch mint opened in 1854 and was able to gain its footing.

Kellogg & Co. and its successor produced $20 gold "slugs" in 1854 and 1855 for circulation. The Kellogg $50 pieces, however, are thought to have been created to showcase the company's ability to produce the same kind of pieces that a competitor was minting.

1851 Humbert "887" With "50" $50. Realized: $360,000 Click images to enlarge.

Another memorable artifact from the Gold Rush era (and minted just a few years earlier), this 1851 Humbert "887" With "50" $50 realized $360,000, the second-highest amount in the auction. Graded NGC MS 63★, this is the finest-known example of this particular version of the octagonal ingots produced by US Assayer Augustus Humbert.

Another gold rarity, an 1864-S $10, graded NGC AU 55, realized $219,004. The only other coin to realize six figures in this auction was also certified by NGC: an 1854 Large Date $20, graded NGC MS 64, that realized $102,000.

To view more results of the Heritage Auctions' US Coins Signature Auction in Chicago, click here.

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free NGC eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the NGC eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List

Add Coin

Join NGC for free to add coins, track your collection and participate in the NGC Registry. Learn more >

Join NGC

Already a member? Sign In
Add to NGC Coin Registry Example
The NGC Registry is not endorsed by or associated with PCGS or CAC. PCGS is a registered trademark of Collectors Universe, Inc. CAC is a trademark of Certified Acceptance Corporation.