1852 $5 Wass, Molitor & Co. (San Francisco) Gold. Large Head. PCGS XF45. Possibly in the Condition Census. This specimen is quite lustrous and possesses beautiful rich orange gold color. It is well-centered with pleasing surfaces despite a small obverse edge dent at 3 o’clock which serves as future identification. This is a very rare variety with fewer than 20 auction records recorded in nearly 75 years and only 6 records that show the coin has not been impaired in some way. We feel that fewer than 20 specimens exist, and most of these grade only Good to Fine.
This denomination must have been the real “work-horse” for a community starved of a standard circulating medium.
We are aware of only three other examples as nice as this coin. PCGS has graded a total of 13 coins which the highest is AU55 while NGC shows this coin as the sole Mint State specimen with the next highest graded au AU53.