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1915 Sandblast PR66 Five Dollar
Only 75 Pieces Originally Minted

1915 $5 PR66 NGC. CAC. The 1915 matte proof issues are the rarest across the board of all the matte and Roman Finish proofs produced from 1908 through 1915. In the case of the 1915 five dollar, only 75 pieces were struck, a clear indication of the collecting public's disenchantment with the sandblast process on proof coins. While the 1915 is a major 20th century rarity (in any gold denomination), in the past its actual scarcity has been overestimated. Years ago estimates of the number of survivors ranged from 12 to 20 pieces. We believe, based on handling a number of proofs of this date over the years, that the number of survivors is probably in the 25-35 coin range.
The 1915 is said to have a coarser sandblast finish. While true, the difference in the size of the granules from year to year is usually only noticeable when a side-by-side comparison is made between years. The one exception is the 1908, an issue that is recognizable by color and granularity with the date covered.
The surfaces of this piece are interesting to anyone who has examined a number of matte proofs. The greenish-gold color of the coin shows a subtle mix of lilac in the reverse fields, a sign we like on gold as it usually indicates untampered originality. Grading sandblast finish gold is a tedious process as there are usually so few obvious defects that detract from a "perfect" coin. On this piece, the only surface flaw we see is a razor-thin mark behind the Indian's headdress extending into the field between stars 9 and 10. This is apparent at one angle, then it disappears when tilted at another angle. By way of an actual pedigree identifier, we see only one. There is a small brown spot, apparently from an improper mixture of the gold/copper alloy in the left reverse field above the P in PLURIBUS. One of the premier rarities in the five dollar Indian series. Census: 7 in 66, 2 finer (5/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 2VMS, PCGS# 8546)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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