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Significant 1875 Gold Dollar, MS66
Low-Mintage Rarity, Tied for Finest Certified

1875 G$1 MS66 PCGS. CAC. Three-quarters of the way through the 19th century, the U.S. Mint managed to create a remarkable series of rarities with the memorable date of 1875. The coinage emphasis in that year was large-denomination silver coins and double eagles. Gold and silver coins had not circulated in any significant way since the Civil War year 1862, but the government was gearing up for the "parity" between gold and silver coins and paper currency that was expected to take place in January 1879. Accordingly, the double eagle was produced to the extent of more than 1.6 million pieces at three mints, complementing more than 5 million Liberty Seated quarters and 10 million Seated halves.
Except for the double eagle, all of the 1875 gold coin issues were struck in minuscule quantities; all of them are great rarities today. In the case of the gold dollar, the mintage was a skimpy 400 business strikes, plus 20 proofs, one of the lowest mintages of any "regular-issue" U.S. coin. Akers makes these cogent comments in his still-useful 1975 reference on the gold dollar series:

"With so low a mintage, essentially all specimens are 'first strikes' and therefore invariably have full proof-like surfaces. This has given rise to the false notion that the 1875 gold dollar is more common in proof than it is in uncirculated condition. Most cataloguers have mistakenly called Uncs. 'proofs' over the years, as one can readily see from the auction records below ... . Actually, the Uncs. are readily distinguishable from the proofs because all uncirculated 1875 gold dollars have a small thorn-like projection from the throat into the field. This projection is seen only on the Uncs., not on the proofs, and no matter how much a particular 1875 may look like a proof, if it has the projection from the throat into the field, it is an Unc."

Akers goes on to say that the proof is a great rarity and deserves recognition. However, the business strikes are quite rare as well, a rarity that increases with condition: NGC has certified 31 pieces in all grades including Prooflike pieces, the highest a single MS66 non-Prooflike piece. PCGS has graded 54 examples in all grades but has certified no Prooflike examples of any gold dollar issue. Nonetheless this MS66 piece is one of the two finest certified at PCGS, and a marvelous coin it is. Rich reddish-gold surfaces offer just a hint of interspersed lilac, especially noticeable over the wreath on the reverse. The fields on each side are fully prooflike and nicely reflective. The piece is problem-free, as expected of the grade, although a couple of faint Mint-made file marks run from the C in AMERICA upward into the field. The small "thorn-like" projection that Akers notes, diagnostic of business strikes, is clear at the throat.
This coin presents a significant opportunity to obtain one of the finest certified examples of this prime rarity, an opportunity that may not soon repeat. Series specialists must act accordingly.
From The Longfellow Collection.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 25DD, PCGS# 7576)

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Auction Dates
February, 2010
3rd-7th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 6,351

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