1852 Wass, Molitor & Co. Ten Dollars by Variety | Wass, Molitor & Co. Coins by Type | Pioneer Gold Coins by Type 
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Obverse of 1852 Wass, Molitor & Co. Ten Dollars - Short Neck, Small Date     Reverse of 1852 Wass, Molitor & Co. Ten Dollars - Short Neck, Small Date

Pointed Bust, Narrow Date

Variety equivalents:
Breen 7926, Kagin 5, KM 59.1

In 1851, Wass, Molitor & Co. purchased the reverse die of the 1850 Dubosq & Co. $10 gold piece.  Wass, Molitor, & Co. first paired this reverse with a rounded bust 1852 obverse, then a pointed bust 1852 obverse with a wide date, then this obverse (pointed bust, narrow date).

The extreme rarity of this variety may be explained by the heavily cracked condition of the reverse die, which may have become unusable after only a few strikes.



Images courtesy of Early American History Auctions, Inc.

Known examples (3):
1. EF-45.  1996 Eliasberg Sale, sold for $36,300.00

2. EF (discovery coin).  Ex - Jack Klausen - 1973 ANA Sale, Lot 1019 - 1983 ANA Sale, Lot 3652, sold for $11,000.00

3. "Very Fine" (illustrated above).  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc.'s Mail Bid Sale, June 9, 2001, Lot 1477, where it was described as follows: "1852 Wass, Molitor & Company $10 Gold, Very Fine.  Breen 7926, Kagin 5, KM-59.1, this variety discovered around 1973 by Jack Klausen, noted dealer and specialist in Territorial Gold coins. This appears to be the third known example of this rare variety. The discovery coin is plated in Breen (looks EF); an EF-45 sold in the 1996 Eliasberg sale for $36,300.; and then there's the example offered here. This appears to be from a later state of the dies than the Breen plate coin, as it shows an extra crack connecting the space between the N and I of CALIFORNIA with the rim. A fabulous rarity for the serious collector of privately issued California gold coins."

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States" by Donald H. Kagin