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1865 Seven-Piece Silver and Nickel Proof Set With Original Box NGC.... (Total: 7 coins)

2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #454

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Auction Ended On: Jan 10, 2008
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Orange County Convention Center
North/South Building
9400 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819

Lot Viewing, Room 220 D, E, F
Auction, Room 230 B

High Grade Seven-Piece 1865 Proof Set
Housed in an Original Case With Presentation Card
1865 Seven-Piece Silver and Nickel Proof Set With Original Box NGC. Just five months after the surrender of General Lee and the Army of North Virginia and the subsequent cessation of hostilities of the Civil War, Mr. and Mrs. G.R. Oat celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. An event that would otherwise be lost to history is commemorated by this proof set of seven silver and nickel coins, its custom-made holder, and presentation card.
The case does not appear to be from the Mint, but was probably made by a local jeweler. The dark brown leather case is in remarkably fine condition with only slight rubbing on the corners and next to the clasps. And the hook-shaped clasps are still fully functional. An ornate gold stamp is centered on the top and reads: Oat. / September 8, 1865. Inside, a blue velvet board held the coins with raised protective rims around each hole. The presentation card is pinned to the blue silk inner liner of the lid. It is written on a calling card with the name Mrs. Henry C. Howell below a handwritten note that reads: Presented to Mr. & Mrs. G.R. Oat / at their silver wedding / Sept 8th 1865 by.
The raised velvet rim around the coins obviously protected the coins from contact over the past 143 years. The individual coins are:

1865 Three Cent Silver PR67 NGC. CAC.
A nearly flawless coin that exhibits deeply mirrored fields that flash brightly through rose centers that are surrounded by lovely blue peripheral color.

1865 Three Cent Nickel PR65 NGC. CAC.
This first-year issue has an impressively low mintage in proof format of only 500 pieces, and is a date that is always in demand by collectors. This Gem is covered with thin streaks of gray, blue, and rose toning over each side with strongly mirrored fields.

1865 Half Dime PR67 NGC. CAC.
Only 500 proofs were struck of this date as proofs. The tiny mintage of 13,000 circulation strikes adds even greater pressure on the few high grade proofs that remain. Exceptionally deep mirrors are seen on each side. The toning is primarily cobalt-blue with bright rose patches scattered here and there.

1865 Dime PR65 NGC. CAC.
Like the half dime, this piece has a correspondingly low emission of business strikes--in this case only 10,000 pieces--making the proofs of even greater importance to collectors. The rich cobalt-blue toning that covers most of each side is interspersed with variegated scarlet-rose over the highpoints and elsewhere.

1865 Quarter PR65 NGC. CAC.
As with all the other coins in this proof set, the mintage of proofs was limited to 500 pieces. While not designated as a Cameo, there is noticeable contrast between the deeply mirrored fields and frosted devices. Unlike the toning on the other coins in this set, both obverse and reverse of this quarter show rich golden-brown toning that deepens considerably toward the margins with much of the underlying original brightness still in evidence as well.

1865 Half Dollar PR65 NGC. CAC.
Definitely upper-end for the grade, as indicated by the CAC sticker and certificate. The coin is essentially problem-free. Like all the other proofs in this set, the fields are deeply mirrored and serve to backlight the tonal qualities. Pale golden centers deepen to rose at the rim, which in turn is surrounded by the same cobalt-blue seen on most of the coins in this set. Identifiable by a shallow planchet depression on the reverse above the eagle's neck.

1865 Dollar PR66 NGC. CAC.
An absolutely stunning Seated dollar. Again, the fields are deeply reflective on each side, which gives added vibrancy and life to the color. The blue-green centers show a narrow band of pale yellow before turning light rose at the margins. A beautiful, well-balanced proof striking. On the upper reverse there is an interesting planchet lamination-in-the-making that is located between STATES and OF.

This is one of the most interesting numismatic items we have handled. The only comparable sets that come to mind are John Pittman's 1843 proof set, and the set of 25 1882-O silver dollars we handled in 1990 that were also housed in a custom-made case for a silver wedding anniversary. It is unnecessary to stress the one-of-a-kind nature of this set, but it should be pointed out that original sets of any type of coins from the 19th century are almost extinct today.(Registry values: N10218)

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