Coin Stories - The 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold Ingot Slug

2017 Coin Stories

For nearly 60 years we’ve made it our business to make the most highly sought after items more obtainable. Behind each of these relics is a beautiful history that is sometimes overshadowed by the physical pieces themselves, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with such information.

Did you know that the 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold Ingot Slug is one of the rarest coins ever minted in the United States? Perhaps the better question is, do you even know what the 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold Ingot Slug is?



Serious dealers and collectors with in depth numismatic knowledge recognize it as one of the most collectible investment coins in the hobby. But common collectors don’t appreciate, and often overlook the “slug” because of its unusual shape.

The 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold Ingot Slug doesn’t look like a normal coin, and it won’t fit in your beginner’s coin book/album. It is .887 pure and weighs roughly 2 ½ Oz. At the time it was minted, the largest coin in the United States was the Seated Liberty Silver Dollar, which weighs less than an ounce, so a coin that big was simply unheard of. To inexperienced collectors in today’s universe, it looks like a medal, because coins are supposed to be round, right? Wrong! In this case, the coin is an octagon.

In 19th Century America, it was believed that expansion across the entire continent was not only justified, it was necessary. It was our Manifest Destiny, and as we moved West, we struck gold… literally!

Straight from the California Gold Rush, these historic octagonal ingots were privately minted from 1851-1852. In 1854, the government opened an official branch of the United States Mint in San Francisco, upon which the slugs were recalled and discontinued. Obviously, very few survived, which makes these odd-shaped coins so valuable.

It is our duty as hobby experts to share our knowledge. Upon doing our research on the subject, we noticed that there is a lack of online information readily available for such a unique item. So in addition to this post and our product listing, be sure to check out the approved Wikipedia article provided by our very own Justin Brigandi.

Remember, you can’t judge a book by looking at its cover. Just because this coin is shaped like a stop sign, doesn’t mean that it’s not coin… a very rare, expensive coin!

Fun Fact: the first stop sign appeared in Detroit, Michigan in 1915 which means the Augustus Humbert $50 Gold Ingot Slug is the original octagon!

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  • Chris Caserta on

    Hi Benjamin,

    Thanks for your response! The coin is graded, for any inquiries about pricing please give us a call and ask for our head coin dealer Robert – (212) 869-5350

  • Benjamin Aumenta on

    How much is this $50 coin and is it certified?

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