NV mining queen's watch draws $12,500 at auction

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Updated: 12/09/2012 8:59 pm

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A gold watch once owned by 19th century Comstock Lode mining queen Eilley Oram Bowers has fetched $12,500 at auction in Reno.

The working pocket watch was among hundreds of Western historical items sold Saturday by Reno-based Holabird-Kagin Americana.

Bowers and her husband, Lemuel "Sandy" Bowers, became millionaires in the 1860s on the massive, underground lode of silver and gold around Virginia City that produced one of the world's greatest bonanzas.

After he died and she lost her wealth, she sold the watch and other belongings to Herz Brothers Jewelry Store of Reno.

Also sold Saturday was a 29-ounce Alaska gold nugget for $70,000, a rare 1839 Gobrecht dollar for $75,000 and a rare 1921 Canadian 50-cent piece for $27,000.

A 15 percent buyer's premium is added to winning bids.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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