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Description

Incredible 1870 Three Cent Silver, Finest Known
Judd-796, Struck in Silver, High R.7
PR66, Perhaps Three or Four Exist

1870 3C Three Cent Silver, Judd-796, Pollock-883, High R.7, PR66 NGC. The obverse is the Seated Liberty design of William Barber, not the same as the production Seated Liberty coinage: Liberty faces left, with her right hand supporting a shield and simultaneously holding a ribbon reading LIBERTY. She bears an olive branch in her left hand, and a Liberty cap protrudes from behind. UNITED STATES is to the left, and OF AMERICA to the right. The date 1870 is in exergue. The same obverse design was also used for the Standard Silver five cent patterns of the year (Judd-809 through 814). On the reverse, somewhat mismatched in size, is the regular-issue reverse for the three cent silver. Struck in silver with a plain edge.
Among the various metals in which this pattern was recorded struck, the silver and aluminum pieces are apparently of the highest rarity. The present example is the sole example in silver with plain edge certified at NGC, and there is a single PR61 certified at PCGS. The famous Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two that we auctioned in January had an example of the Judd-797 in silver with reeded edge, but lacked a Judd-796. In fact, this appears to be the first time that we have ever offered an example of this pattern since we began maintaining our Permanent Auction Archives, and we believe that likely only three or four pieces exist today. The only auction appearance we are aware of in the last 30-plus years is the Four Landmark Collections sale (Bowers and Merena, 3/1989, lot 14), a PR63 uncertified piece of which the catalogers wrote that "it is doubtful that as many as four or five specimens exist." On the present Premium Gem example, the bright, reflective fields on this incredible pattern enhance deep rose centers that turn blue around the margins.
From The Frank M. Stirling Collection. (NGC ID# 29UD, PCGS# 61039)


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Auction Dates
May, 2009
27th-31st Wednesday-Sunday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,022

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