1912 $5 PR66 NGC....
Delightful 1912 Matte Proof Five Dollar, PR661912 $5 PR66 NGC. After the Mint returned to the matte proof process in 1911, the gold coins of 1912 continued this method of production. When one closely examines matte proof gold, it becomes apparent that year-to-year there were sometimes minute and sometimes large variations in the finish employed. This is more than likely because of who was in charge of sandblasting in that particular year, rather than a conscious decision about a given finish. This piece, like other 1912 matte proof gold coins, shows a fine, sparkling granularity.
Though official records give the mintage for the 1912 half eagle in matte finish as 144 proofs, the survival rate is low; various authorities debate exactly how low. Gradually, estimates of 15 to 20 pieces have given way to higher ranges, though few believe the actual population consists of more than 40 specimens. (Population figures are obviously inflated by numerous resubmissions and duplicates.) Regardless of the real number of survivors, many of them appear in higher grades, with Gem proof as a baseline.
This is a delightful Premium Gem example of this Indian Head gold issue that Heritage has offered just 12 times over the past 15 years, sharply struck with subtly shimmering, butterscotch-colored matte proof surfaces with a hint of red added. A few faint, light disturbances appear under magnification, but the delicate surfaces appear essentially untouched to the unaided eye. Census: 12 in 66, 17 finer (6/08).(Registry values: N7079) (PCGS# 8543)
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