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UNITED STATES ASSAY OFFICE
GOLD COINS

Coins issued by Augustus Humbert as Assayer of Gold
1851 $50
1852 $10
1852 $20

Coins issued by the United States Assay Office of Gold
1852 $10 
1852 $50 
1853 $10 
1853 $20 

History of the United States Assay Office

While the government’s response to the need for an adequate coinage was slow and never satisfactory, two institutions were established (the State Assay Office of California and the United States Assay Office) that did provide an unconventional and partly successful attempt to supply a frontier area with an acceptable quantity of an "official" circulating medium.

The private coinage proscription was not enforced by the public or government because the State Assay Office failed to mint enough ingots for the local demand. Ironically, an institution that was designed to replace the need for private gold minting actually preserved it (i.e., Moffat & Co.'s undebased coins from the first period continued in circulation) and in fact stimulated its resurgence (i.e., the second period of private gold coinage).

The State Assay Office of California

The United States Assay Office under Moffat & Co. (1851-1852)

The United States Assay Office under Curtis, Perry & Ward (1852-1853)

--Reprinted with permission of the author from Donald H. Kagin's, "Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States", copyright 1981, Arco Publishing, Inc. of New York, pp 163-167.

Images courtesy of Superior Stamp and Coin

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States" by Donald H. Kagin