Wass, Molitor & Co. Coins by Type | Pioneer Gold Coins by Type

Obverse of Wass, Molitor & Co. Fifty Dollars     Reverse of Wass, Molitor & Co. Fifty Dollars


1855 WASS, MOLITOR & CO.
FIFTY DOLLARS

 

Images courtesy of Early American History Auctions, Inc.

Recent appearances:
NGC AU-55 (illustrated above).  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc.'s Mail Bid Sale, October 14, 2000, Lot 1149, where it was described as follows: "This large, heavy and impressive coin was made by a pair of Hungarian patriots named S.C. Wass and A.P. Molitor, who established a smelting and assaying operation in San Francisco during the days of the California gold rush. Their earliest output consisted of $5 and $10 gold pieces, but as their reputation and skills advanced, they produced both $20 and $50 gold coins in 1855. Although they struck a large quantity of each denomination, very few survive today because most have been melted over the past nearly 150 years. The few that have remained in collectors’ hands are highly prized. We should point out that there was concern that a quantity of these massive coins might be found on the S.S. Central America shipwreck. The recent release of the actual inventory of that treasure showed that of over 300 territorial gold coins found, there was only One single example of a Wass, Molitor $50! With that concern allayed, this coin should see spirited bidding and we fully expect it to easily sell in our estimate range, especially since the current Guide Book value for this “Round $50 Slug” is stated at $135,000. in MS-60.

The example offered here is very well struck and has glossy surfaces, in marked contrast to the baggy example plated in the GUIDEBOOK. This one has some minor rim dings that NGC found quite acceptable and which, we are sure, were factored into the final grade. Unusually mark-free for such a large size gold coin and having excellent overall eye appeal especially due to its exceptional large round size. This example is in the top five of the coins graded by both PCGS and NGC!..."

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