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Description

1885 Snowden Dollar, Remarkable PR68 Cameo
Judd-1749, The Finest Example Known

1885 P$1 Snowden Dollar, Judd-1749, Pollock-1961, R.7, PR68 Cameo NGC. CAC.
Design. The dies are the regular-issue 1885 Morgan dollar dies, but there is experimental edge lettering as follows: * * * * * * E * / PLURIBUS * / UNUM * * * * *. Struck in aluminum with a tripartite collar for the edge lettering.

Commentary. The so-called Snowden dollars were struck as an anti-counterfeiting measure, following the arrest in 1884 of two skillful counterfeiters. The edge was struck from a novel three-part collar that produced raised edge lettering on the coin. Considerable experimentation went into the production of these pieces, and on June 12, 1885 Snowden and his staff succeeded in getting the mechanism to work at normal production speeds of 80 to 100 coins per minute. Snowden retired at the end of the year, and left placement of the raised lettering to his successor. Director Burchard left office around the same time, and no one remained in the Mint who had Snowden's insight, ability, or willingness to experiment to carry his project forward to completion.

Physical Description. This dollar is essentially "as struck." The nearly brilliant surfaces show no obvious contact marks on either side. The fields are deeply mirrored and show evidence of die polishing. Contrasted against the depth of mirroring on each side, the devices are noticeably frosted, producing a strong field-device contrast. Contrast is almost expected on aluminum patterns. These pieces struck up nicely and a high percentage display deep mirroring and cameo contrast. Additionally, this nearly perfect piece does not show any of the planchet laminations or streakiness often encountered in aluminum coinage. Nor is there any trace of oxidation. This is the only PR68 Snowden dollar certified at either grading service, and it is followed by a pair of PR67 Cameo coins, one at NGC and one at PCGS as the second finest examples known (2/13).

Provenance. "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $75; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
From The Eric P. Newman Collection. (NGC ID# 2ALV, PCGS# 62191)

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Auction Dates
April, 2013
24th-28th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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Page Views: 756

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