Lovely Octagonal Gold Dollar, BG-501 Highlights Upcoming Baltimore Auction

Among the many great coins included in our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo this October-November is this lovely little piece from the days of the California Gold Rush. It is an octagonal gold dollar, identified as BG-501 in the standard reference for California fractional gold coins, by Walter Breen and Ron Gillio. It is graded MS-63 by PCGS. This type is very popular with collectors for the reverse design, styled after the one seen on the famous octagonal $50 gold pieces produced under the authority of Augustus Humbert and later, the United States Assay Office of Gold. This coin was struck circa 1853-1854 by the firm of Frontier, Deviercy & Company, one of several firms known to have made fractional gold denominations in California.


This particular piece comes from the incredible Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, probably the most famous coin collection ever sold. While our most widely known sales of that collection, in 1982, 1996 and 1997, included no fractional gold coins, an offering of Eliasberg pieces in our March 2010 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo contained the entirety of the Eliasberg Collection of this specialty. Many of the pieces came from the Clapp Collection, acquired by Eliasberg intact, through efforts of Stack’s, in 1942. This coin is among the finest known examples of the type, with only one graded finer by PCGS. The appearance is superb, and it is a fitting highlight of a broad selection of dozens of interesting, rare, and high-grade California fractional gold coins featured in our Baltimore event. More than three dozen of those included have never before been offered for sale publicly, these having been discovered early this year in a New England family accumulation.


This and all the other items offered in our October-November Baltimore sale will be available for viewing and bidding at There will also be viewing in our Irvine, California and New York City offices prior to the sale, as well as at the auction venue. To schedule an appointment for viewing in California or New York or to inquire about receiving a catalog, call 800-458-4646.

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