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1904 $20 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC....

2008 March Phoenix, AZ (ANA) Signature Auction #1102

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‡Note: The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.
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Auction Ended On: Mar 7, 2008
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Phoenix Convention Center
West Building
100 North 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Lot Viewing: Room 106B

Auction: Room 106A

Conditionally Unsurpassed 1904 Double Eagle
PR65 Ultra Cameo
1904 $20 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. According to the Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins (2006), coauthor Jeff Garrett believes the 1904 double eagle to be the most common date of the type in proof. It must be noted, however, that the total mintage of this issue was a mere 98 pieces (compare that to the business strike production of 6,256,699 coins, or to the numbers for any modern proof gold issue). Curiously, more than 100 specimens have been graded by NGC and PCGS, but this population is certain to include multiple resubmissions of some of the coins, as dealers and collectors attempt to obtain "upgrades" from one company or the other.
The current offering is anything but common. In fact, this specimen is the only example of the proof 1904 double eagle to be graded as Ultra Cameo by NGC, at any grade level. Furthermore, none have been designated as Deep Cameo at PCGS (as of January 2008).
The rarity of deeply prooflike examples is not surprising, considering that this issue was produced in a brilliant format that did not tend to impart a deep mirror finish to the fields, with contrasting frosted devices that allow for a noticeable cameo effect. It seems possible, and indeed likely, that this gorgeous Gem was one of the first pieces (perhaps the very first) of the entire issue to be struck, although this hypothesis is one that cannot be proven.
Fully struck, with crisp definition throughout, and marvelous overall quality that also includes virtually immaculate preservation of the delicate surfaces. Large gold coins are notoriously difficult to keep in pristine condition, but this piece has obviously been handled with great care ever since being struck at the Philadelphia Mint, more than 100 years ago. The Ultra Cameo effect on both sides is indeed dramatic, and helps to ensure the compelling visual appeal of this conditionally unmatched specimen. A great coin that is certain to generate considerable excitement when it crosses the auction block. Census: 1 in 65 Ultra Cameo, 0 finer (1/08).
From The Ultra Collection.(Registry values: P2) (PCGS# 99120)

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