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Impressive Ultra Cameo Proof 1872 Double Eagle

1872 $20 PR63 Ultra Cameo NGC. Proof double eagles are the creme de la creme of American numismatics, true rarities regardless of date or grade. From the start of record keeping in 1859, through the end of the proof double eagle cycle in 1915, a total of just 3,793 such coins were produced, for an average of just 66 pieces per year! In 1872, for example, just 30 of these proof coins were minted. Just how many survive today is anyone's guess, although the usual survival figures suggest that about 50% to 60% of all proof double eagles are still around. For this date, these figures imply just 15 to 18 surviving examples, although in this instance those figures may be a little high. In his Complete Encyclopedia, published nearly two decades ago, Walter Breen reported only 8 to 10 examples. More recently, in the October 1997 catalog of the John Jay Pittman Collection, Part I, David Akers suggested that 10 to 12 examples survive. A dozen known examples seems about right. Of course, some of those, like the Pittman example, are impaired and grade PR60 at best.
This lovely specimen is a remarkable proof. While the obverse has light hairlines that limit the grade, the overall eye appeal is excellent. Both sides have rich orange-gold color with deeply mirrored fields. The devices have full mint frosty, thus creating the impressive cameo appearance that is so highly desired. Aside from the light obverse hairlines, both sides have excellent, unblemished surfaces. Identified by two curved lint marks in the field next to Liberty's neck and a short diagonal mark in the margin below I of LIBERTY. Census: 1 in 63, 2 finer (6/06).
From The Mulholland Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 26DR, PCGS# 99087)

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Auction Dates
August, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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