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Augustus Humbert, a New York watchcase maker, was appointed United States assayer, and he placed his name and the government stamp on the ingots of gold issued by Moffat & Co. The assay office, a provisional government mint, was a temporary expedient to accommodate the Californians until the establishment of a permanent branch mint. The fifty-dollar gold piece was accepted by most banks and merchants as legal tender on a par with standard U.S. gold coins and was known variously as a slug, quintuple eagle, or five-eagle piece. It was officially termed an ingot.

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