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1850 Baldwin Five Dollar

Image Information

Type Coin
Title 1850 Baldwin Five Dollar
Date 1850
Grade AU53
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 10025
Denomination $5

1850 $5 Baldwin Five Dollar AU53 NGC. K-2, R.5. George Baldwin and Thomas Holman were the principles in a jewelry and watchmaking concern on Clay Street in San Francisco in 1849. Seeing a profitable business opportunity, they purchased F.D. Kohler's private coinage operation when he was appointed assayer for the California State Assay Office. The new firm of Baldwin & Co. began issuing coins in five, ten, and twenty dollar denominations, struck from dies engraved by Albert Kuner. The Baldwin coinage was initially well-received, and the company's output rivaled that of Moffat & Co. and the U.S. Assay Office. Unfortunately, an unfavorable assay report by Augustus Humbert in March 1851 ruined the firm's credibility and made the Baldwin coinage unacceptable to local merchants. The coins were either repudiated or only accepted at a steep discount, despite Baldwin's assertion that the coins were of full weight and fineness and he was being defamed by his competitors. Few Baldwin coins could be found in circulation by late 1851, and the issue is elusive in all grades today. The present coin is an attractive AU53 example from a late state of the dies. A prominent rim cud is evident from 1 o'clock to 2:30 on the obverse, and die cracks extend through many stars on the left and right. The reverse shows heavy peripheral die cracks, with a rim cud at 9 o'clock. The design elements are well-detailed and exhibit only light wear. Original orange-gold surfaces are pleasing to the eye. Listed on page 402 of the 2018 Guide Book. Census: 1 in 53, 6 finer (8/17). Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp and Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $175.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

Heritage Newman IX, November 2017, lot 15116, realized $26400. Images and description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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Image Collection Eric P. Newman Collection, Part IX
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