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Phenomenal 1834 Half Dime
V-4, LM-4, PR66 Cameo

1834 H10C PR66 Cameo NGC. V-4, LM-4, R.6 as a proof. This is not the Eliasberg Collection specimen, but it is of similar quality and die state to that piece. Breen recorded the Eliasberg specimen as a proof, one of about 15 that he believed to be separate examples. But the Eliasberg catalogers left the door open, calling that coin (Bowers and Merena, 5/1996, lot 926) "MS-66, prooflike." Like the Eliasberg catalogers, we certainly (as always) invite prospective bidders to form their own conclusions regarding the status of the present piece.
This coin is also in the same die state as a couple of other examples we have handled, although we cannot conclusively say that the pieces are the same. In particular, the piece resembles in many ways the second coin below, with a small lint mark at the bottom of the lower hair ribbon behind Liberty's head:

1. Ex: Whitney P. Sunderland Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/1994), lot 1006, which realized $20,900. PR65 PCGS.
2. Ex: Detroit ANA Signature (Heritage, 7/1994), lot 6350, which realized $20,185; Rarities Sale--Long Beach Connoisseur Collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/1999), lot 81, which realized $21,850. Formerly PR65 PCGS, later PR66 NGC before the latter auction.

We nonetheless, along with NGC, concur that the present coin is a true proof, and a memorable one at that. The Eliasberg catalogers apparently believed that the softness on the denticles on that piece precluded it being a proof--although such a rationale is illogical for a coin produced on a screw press.
On this coin both the planchet and the dies appear to have been treated with extraordinary care to produce such a coin that is fully reflective throughout, essentially fully struck (save for the denticles), and with sufficient field-device contrast to warrant a Cameo designation from NGC. Only the most trivial post-strike contact marks appear under a loupe, attesting to loving subsequent preservation as well. Most of the coin is silver-gray, with a touch of cinnamon patina dotting the surfaces here and there.
The die state, as we mentioned, is similar to the Eliasberg coin, in that the right top of the N in UNITED is unfilled, and the right diagonal of the M in AMERICA is complete, with a trace of recutting. We believe all four of these pieces to be proof strikings from the same die, produced at the same time. NGC has certified eight examples of this piece in proof format: three in 64, four in 65. The present PR66 Cameo is numerically the finest at that service, and the only Cameo (3/09).
From The Scottsville Collection of Proof Bust Coinage. (NGC ID# 232L, PCGS# 4297)

View all of [The Scottsville Collection of Proof Bust Coinage ]

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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