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Elegant PR64 Cameo 1882 Double Eagle

1882 $20 PR64 Cameo NGC. CAC. The 1882 double eagle proofs have a long collector history-far longer, in fact, than that of the low-mintage business strikes which are now more famous. As Q. David Bowers explains in A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins, the business strike issue experienced collector neglect, while proofs were paid much more attention:

"The 1882 double eagle registered one of the lowest circulation strike figures for any American gold coin. So far as is known, all went into circulation, and not a single coin was saved at the time by a numismatist. The latter bought Proofs. Today, anyone seeking a high grade coin is apt to buy one of the Proofs that occasionally come on the market. Mint State coins are next to impossible to find."

This is why, among other telling signs, the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection has two of the reported 59 proof examples struck, but none of the 571 circulation-finish pieces; the major gold donations to the NNC came from collectors who favored the proof over the business strike, more than 50 years after the coins' release. Today's numismatists, of course, can appreciate the 1882 double eagle on a variety of levels, including as one of the many tough dates in the proof double eagle series.
This is an enchanting example with a light layer of patina over much of the yellow-orange obverse and parts of the reverse. Each side offers distinct and appealing contrast with suggestions of orange-peel texture, and while the fields show a few minor disturbances, the overall eye appeal is impressive. A gorgeous and highly desirable survivor. Census: 3 in 64 Cameo, 0 finer (11/10).
From The Henry Miller Collection.(Registry values: P4) (PCGS# 89098)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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