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1876 Centennial-Issue Twenty
PR62 Cameo
, Rarely Seen in Any Grade

1876 $20 PR62 Cameo NGC. A splendid and desirable specimen of this Centennial-year rarity. This is a lovely Cameo proof example of the Type Two double eagle, produced only from 1866 to 1876. A total of 45 proofs were struck in 1876. In the Bass catalog, Bowers speculates that this was "perhaps in anticipation that visitors to the Centennial Exhibition of American Independence in nearby Fairmount Park would sally over to the Philadelphia Mint." If this was the case, they did not save them in higher numbers. Numismatic researcher Walter Breen, in his Encyclopedia, published in 1988, said only eight to 10 proofs are thought to exist. The rarity of this coin is probably underrated. In fact, Breen also makes the same estimate of eight to 10 pieces surviving for the 1875 proofs, of which only 20 were made.
The fields are highly reflective and provide excellent cameo contrast against the frosted devices. Improper storage, however, has led to numerous contact marks, digs, and other distractions, the most obvious on the obverse in the exposed, highly reflective areas surrounding the cameo of Liberty; there are also some minor marks on the cheek and neck. The reverse at first glance appears cleaner, but examination with a glass reveals a scrape running from the F and above AME. The strike is bold with star centrils, hair details, and the eagle's feathers and shield all well brought up. Even with the obvious flaws, this remains an appealing and desirable Cameo proof of one of the rarest double eagle types. NGC reports a proof population of one in 62 Cameo (this coin), with seven higher, while PCGS has certified none in 62 Cameo, with only two finer (3/11).
Ex: 2006 FUN Auction (Heritage, 1/2006), lot 3579.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25EK, PCGS# 89091)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 2
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