1856-N (ca. 1860) Octagonal 50 Cents. BG-915A. Rarity-7. Liberty Head. MS-61 (PCGS). One of our most significant California Small Denomination gold offerings of all time, this coin is one of only four to six examples of the fascinating BG-915A attribution believed extant. Vivid golden-orange surfaces are satiny in texture with subtle semi-reflective qualities evident in the fields when viewed with the aid of direct lighting. Well struck with most major design elements boldly to sharply rendered, an uncommonly smooth appearance for the assigned grade further enhances this coins appeal.<p>This intriguing variety was struck by Robert B. Gray & Co., successors to Antoine Louis Nouizillet, using the dies of the latters BG-311 issue. Although dated 1856, the BG-915A is believed to have been made circa 1860 (Bob Leonard, 2003, says 1858 or 1859). It is therefore a restrike, the dies in an extremely late state identifiable by an obverse cud break at star 7, a die crack at the tip of the coronet, and soft to absent denticulation around the borders on both sides. The 2003 Bob Leonard census lists just two examples, one of which is the Mike Locke discovery coin (discovered 2000). We are aware of only two third party certification events for this BG number, the present coin in PCGS MS-61 and an NGC MS-60, ex Heritages January 2016 sale of the Elbert Henry Gary Collection. Both of those certified coins are distinct from the discovery piece. Mike Locke has handled four different examples of BG-915A, including the discovery coin, but perhaps not including either the Oregon Collection specimen offered here or the Elbert Henry Gary Collection piece. With no more than six examples known, and perhaps as few as four, Mike Locke rates this variety borderline Rarity-7 to Rarity-7+. From the Oregon Collection.