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Cameo Gem 1903 Proof Double Eagle, Among The Finest Graded

1903 $20 PR65 Cameo NGC. Ex: Bass. A beautiful and imposing Gem with a good strike on Liberty's hair and an exemplary strike on the remainder of the devices. In the Bass catalog description for the present specimen, it is mentioned that "In this year [1903] the portrait of Miss Liberty was lightly polished at the Mint ... all authentic proofs do not have cameo frosted heads." However, while the profile certainly does not possess Ultra Cameo contrast, the modest contrast between the deeply mirrored fields and the luminous portrait is unmistakable. A brief mint-made lintmark between the first and second vertical shield stripes serves as a pedigree for subsequent sales.

The mintage of 158 pieces is the highest proof production of the type, however, certified populations suggest that many of these may be impaired. Writing in 1977, Walter Breen stated in his proof Encyclopedia that "Aside from Garrett's at $6250 and Wolfson's, almost the only choice one auctioned in the last twenty years was that in KS 2/60; most others have been scrubbed or nicked up. Quoting the pathetic records on these would be a waste of time." In all proof grades, NGC has encapsulated 41 pieces, presumably many among these reflect resubmissions. As of (7/04), only two pieces have been graded in PR65 or finer grades, both as PR65 Cameo. Likewise, PCGS has not certified any above the PR65 Cameo level.
Ex: John Work Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/76), lot 544, which realized $6,250; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/99), lot 1939, which realized $41,400.
From The Greenwich Collection, Part Two.(#89119) (Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 26ER, PCGS# 89119)

View all of [The Greenwich Collection, Part Two ]

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Auction Dates
August, 2004
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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