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Fabulous PR64 Cameo 1888 Twenty

1888 $20 PR64 Cameo NGC. CAC. The 1880s are among the most challenging decades for the proof double eagle collector, as numismatists who would normally avoid proof examples find themselves chasing after dates such as the 1883, 1884, and 1887, all of which are proof-only. Following the 121 pieces coined for the proof-only 1887 issue, production dropped to 105 proofs in 1888, yet the demand for the 1888 proofs is not as great, since Philadelphia produced business strike twenties in appreciable quantities that year.
This is not to say, however, that the 1888 instantly becomes an easy date to collect. Garrett and Guth state in the Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins that "because the 1888 is not a Proof-only issue, the rarity of the date is overshadowed by the much more famous [Proof-only] double eagles." They caution, however, that "the 1888 issue is of similar rarity, with only 20 to 30 coins known, including examples in museum collections." Further, the mintage is probably deceptive, and that "many were undoubtedly melted as unsold." The perceptive and far-thinking proof gold enthusiast, then, has a great opportunity to acquire this challenging issue while it remains underappreciated.
Rich lemon-yellow color enhances the reflective eye appeal of this near-Gem Cameo specimen, crisply detailed with delightful frost on the devices. A light layer of patina has settled over the fields, but aside from a small contact mark to the left of Liberty's chin and a handful of scattered hairlines, the overall preservation is wonderful. Census: 4 in 64 Cameo, 6 finer (11/10).
From The Henry Miller Collection.(Registry values: P3) (PCGS# 89104)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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