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Possibly Unique 1854 Proof Eagle, PR55 Cameo
Unmistakable Proof Striking

1854 $10 PR55 Cameo NGC. This piece may very well represent a unique coin, as it is the first certified proof 1854 Liberty Head eagle known, an issue of which Garrett and Guth write in the second edition of their Gold Coin Encyclopedia:

"Mintage: Unknown (Unique?)
"The existence of a Proof 1854 eagle is highly doubtful. Apparently, a set of Proof coins was presented to the city of Bremen [Germany] in July 1854 in exchange for a group of coins (presumably from Bremen). According to Walter Breen, the set was liberated in 1945 and broken up, but this information remains unsubstantiated. Although various 1854 Proof $1, $2.50, and $3 coins are known, none can be tied to that set, nor have any 1854 Proof half eagles, eagles, or double eagles ever been seen. The Smithsonian does not have a Proof example of this date."

Well, as the saying goes, "Seeing is believing," and one look at this coin will remove any doubt. The full strike, deeply reflective fields, profound contrast, and mint frost remaining on the devices are all clearly characteristic of a proof impression. There are numerous contact marks on each side, the most obvious and largest on the obverse below Liberty's nose and in the left field. The fields are bright yellow-gold with a bit of reddish tint.
Although we can find no provenance information for this coin, it appears to be a recently graded piece, and the sole proof 1854 eagle graded at either NGC or PCGS. If this is indeed the Bremen coin, it only begins to solve the mystery of what happened to the other coins, and in any case it is a fascinating specimen in its own right. Possibly unique -- a phrase we seldom use.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 2WER, PCGS# 88790)

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Auction Dates
September, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 17
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Page Views: 1,918

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