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Description

Gorgeous 1888 Twenty, PR65 Deep Cameo
Rare Relative to Mintage

1888 $20 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. Between 1881 and 1887, even as San Francisco made millions of double eagles, production of the same denomination at Philadelphia languished. When the denomination was struck at all in circulation format, the output was minimal -- 2,199 pieces (in 1881) was the highest such output during that time, and dates such as the 1882, 1885, and 1886 business strikes are famous rarities. (The 1883, 1884, and 1887 double eagles were proof-only.)
These low or nonexistent mintages put great price pressures on most of the proof double eagle issues of the 1880s, and it is telling that the 1888 proof twenty, the first post-1880 date to be paired with a high-mintage Philadelphia business strike issue, is priced nearly at type in lesser proof grades. Yet the perception of the 1888 double eagle and subsequent issues, at least as reflected in their prices, does not mesh with objective reality. The Mint's figures claim 105 proof 1888 twenties were struck, but by numismatists' best estimates, only 20 to 30 of the coins survive, making the proof 1888 double eagle a very rare coin regardless of condition.
This is especially true for coins with the prized Deep Cameo level of contrast; there are only two such certification events for the 1888 twenty in the PCGS Population Report, both of which grade PR65 Deep Cameo (2/12). This magnificently contrasted Gem has an orange tint to the outer zones, fading to yellow on and around the thickly frosted devices. Gleaming mirrors show a hint of delicate texture and occasional areas of gauzy patina close to the rims. A pleasingly preserved and beautiful example of classic proof gold on its largest stage.
From The William D. Plumley Collection.(Registry values: P3) (PCGS# 99104)

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Auction Dates
April, 2012
18th-22nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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