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Seven-Piece 1889 Proof Set
Four Pieces Gem or Better

Seven-Piece 1889 Proof Set. The 1889 minor proof set contains the Indian Head cent and the last of the three cent nickel issues, along with the Liberty five cent nickel. Only 18,125 three cent nickel business strikes were produced, as compared with 3,336 proofs each of the cent and Liberty nickel--and 3,436 of the three cent nickel proofs, concerning which Breen says that "the extra hundred appear to mark the final issue of this denomination."
The Indian cent business strikes had an enormous production of nearly 50 million pieces, but the proof cents of 1889 are rare either in full Red or with Cameo designation. Some of the three cent nickel proofs show bold recutting on the 1 in the date. Breen comments concerning both the 1888 and 1889 Liberty nickel issues that they seldom show brilliant mirrors, being possibly from a slightly different crystalline structure in the nickel alloy that prevents such an appearance.
The Seated quarter and half dollar, as in recent years past, had few circulation strikes produced, a situation that increases the price pressure on nice proofs of the year. The 1889 Seated quarter and Seated half each saw only 12,000 business strikes made. The Morgan silver dollar, as in other years, was the culprit, which under the inflexible Bland-Allison Act of 1878 was responsible for nearly 35 million pieces coined in this year, at four different mints. Bowers writes that the Morgan dollar proofs of this issue show an average strike that is usually weak at the centers, with medium to low contrast.

Cent PR65 Red and Brown PCGS. A charming Gem offering a range of colors, from pale copper-orange through sunset and into mahogany with occasional splashes of mint-green. Excellent strike and surface preservation.

Three Cent Nickel PR65 NGC. This Gem offers a fitting end to the run of proof three cent nickels. Both sides are pale pearl-gray with whispers of golden color. The portrait is softly frosted, though the fine hair detail found on the sharpest specimens is absent here.

Five Cent Nickel PR64 NGC. Highly appealing for a "mere" near-Gem proof. Light nickel-blue surfaces show distinct green-gold accents at the lower reverse. Both sides show a handful of hairlines and flyspecks, and there is a tiny contact mark above the V on the reverse.

Dime PR66 NGC. Both sides offer colorful and contrasting toning. The obverse is deep blue to the left and predominantly silver-white on the right, with a faint fingerprint visible there. The reverse has golden color over the inner field with deeper blue-influenced hues on the wreath and beyond.

Quarter--Improperly Cleaned--NGC. Proof. Better eye appeal than the Improperly Cleaned designation might suggest, though there are strong hairlines in the mirrored fields. Surfaces are largely silver-white with splashes of orange. A broad but shallow planchet flaw is noted to the left of the date.

Half Dollar PR64 NGC. An attractive Choice proof with significant contrast, though not quite to the Cameo level. Gold and orange peripheral tints yield swiftly to near-brilliance in the fields, while the well-defined devices are mildly frosted. Minor hairlines and contact marks, most noticeably to the right of Liberty.

Morgan Dollar PR65 NGC. A captivating Gem with considerable frostiness on the devices. While the obverse's blue-accented surfaces show dappled orange and silver-white color not conducive to contrast, the reverse, toned only with gold-orange at the margins, offers a fully Cameo experience.
From The Boca Collection, Part One.

View all of [The Boca Collection, Part I ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,114

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