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Description

Seldom Encountered 1872 Double Eagle
Rare Proof Date, PR62 Cameo

1872 $20 PR62 Cameo NGC. Offerings of 1872 gold proof sets have been few and far between over the years. The National Numismatic Collection includes a full proof set of this year, delivered directly from the coiner on February 3, 1872. The American Numismatic Society Collection also boasts a set, courtesy of J.P. Morgan and R.C. Brock. T. Harrison Garrett once owned a set, but it was broken up. The only complete 1872 gold proof set offered at auction in recent times seems to be the one in the James Stack Collection (Stack's, 3/1995), lots 799-805. As the coins were offered singly, this set may no longer be intact.
Offerings of single specimens of this issue are also uncommon. A search of auction records reveals only two specimens offered by Heritage since 1993, one in the 2006 FUN Auction, and the other in the April 2006 ANA sale. Offerings from other auction firms have been similarly infrequent.
As may be surmised by the small number of auction appearances, the 1872 double eagle is a rare date in proof. From a tiny proof mintage of only 30 pieces, the surviving population is extremely small. in his encyclopedia, Walter Breen estimated only 8-10 specimens extant. In Type Two Double Eagles 1866-1876, Doug Winter and Michael Fuljenz concur, with an estimate of approximately 10 examples known. In A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins, Q. David Bowers lists 12 pieces certified, which may include duplicate submissions, and an estimated field population of 10-12 examples. In any case, twenty pieces would seem to be a generous estimate of the surviving population.
The present coin is an outstanding representative of this rare issue. The fields are deeply reflective, and contrast boldly with the strongly impressed devices. The coin richly deserves its Cameo designation. A few hairlines in the fields probably account for the grade. Census: 1 in 62 Cameo, 1 finer (11/08).(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 26DR, PCGS# 89087)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2009
7th-11th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 930

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