1904 $20 PR65 Cameo PCGS. CAC....
Wonderful 1904 Twenty, PR65 Cameo1904 $20 PR65 Cameo PCGS. CAC. The official mintage of proof 1904 twenties was recorded at 98 pieces by the Philadelphia Mint. As such, the combined total of 104 graded examples at NGC and PCGS can most easily be explained by the phenomenon of multiple resubmissions of the same coin, although it is also possible that more than 98 pieces were struck. At the end of the day, it is likely a combination of both factors. Of the surviving population of 1904 proof double eagles, most are lacking cameo contrast between the fields and the design devices. Bowers (2004) provides an explanation: "The portrait was polished in the die ... yielding a satiny, but not frosty finish." Jeff Garrett provides offered a similar insight when he wrote in 2006 that "most of the examples seen also have very little, if any, cameo surfaces."
The specimen offered here is an exception. Well preserved, glassy fields adjoin lightly frosted devices and the coloration is a stunningly rich orange-gold hue. Its surface quality and field-to-device contrast was enough to earn this piece a PR65 Cameo grade at PCGS--one of only 8 to do so, with none finer (11/08). In terms of quality and overall eye appeal, this proof survivor edges out the Smithsonian Institution example, which is an uncertified coin graded as PR64 Deep Cameo by the authors of the Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins. And, since the formation of our online auction archives in 1993, this is only the second PR65 1904 double eagle, regardless of surface designation, that we have had the privilege to handling. That coin--a PR65 Ultra Cameo graded by NGC--was lot 1763 in our March 2008 ANA sale, where it realized $109,250.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 26ES, PCGS# 89120)
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