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Gold slug stars at sale

An extremely rare 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 gold piece graded MS-65 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. was the top selling lot at the Bowers and Merena Rarities Sale held Sept. 13 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“This was the most memorable coin I have graded all year,” said Mark Salzberg, NGC chairman.

It crossed the block at $460,000. This price and others reported here include a 15 percent buyer’s fee.

“This coin is a new discovery that has never been available for sale to our knowledge,” said Bowers and Merena President Steve Deeds. “The rarity, the quality, the history – it all adds up to make this one spectacular coin of the caliber that even the most experienced numismatists only see a few times in a lifetime.”

The next highest bid was $97,750 for an 1859-O double eagle graded AU-58 by NGC. An 1854 Large Date double eagle graded NGC MS-64 was not far behind, selling for $96,600.
Another interesting item of the sale was a 1928 Hawaiian commemorative half dollar including signed hand-drawn sketches, plaques and letters. Described by catalogers as the most important and complete offering of items relating to the commemorative, the full set sold for a final bid of $86,250.

Rounding out the top performers was a Mint State 1804 14-star reverse quarter eagle graded MS-62, which brought $63,250, and an 1893 half eagle graded MS-68, which sold for $51,750. Both items were graded by Professional Coin Grading Service.

The 933-lot auction realized a total of $3,371,135.

Contact the firm by mail at Bowers and Merena Auctions, 18061 Fitch, Irvine, CA 92614, or by e-mail at auction@bowersandmerena.com. A complete list of prices realized can also be found online at www.bowersandmerena.com.

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