1852 $10 Assay Office Ten Dollar 884 Thous. PCGS AU50. Rarity-4. Ex. S.S. Central America #7103. Gold Foil. Definitely one of the finer of the 92 examples recovered by the Odyssey Marine Group. The present example is very well struck and has retained much of it’s original surface detail despite being submerged in seawater for over 130 years.
The history behind these coins is really fascinating and it’s really surprising any of these coins still remain to be collected today, since they were really never intended for long-term circulation but instead created mostly first for assay and then for transport to be melted upon entering the Philadelphia mint facility.
On February 12, 1852, the Alta California carried this: “Moffat & Co. take great pleasure in announcing to the public that they have received by the mail of yesterday instructions from the Treasury Department authorizing the issue from the United States Assay Office of ingots of the denomination of ten and twenty dollars, and that they are prepared to issue the same this day. “The tens will have a fineness of 884 thousandths, and will weigh 262-7 10 grains. The twenties will be of the same fineness and will weigh 525-4 10 grains. No more coin will be manufactured bearing the stamp of ‘Moffat & Co.’ and that already issued will be redeemed whenever demanded. The firm of Curtis, Perry and Ward took over the day-to-day operations through the first few months of 1853.