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Majestic Gem Proof 1864 Coronet Gold Eagle

1864 $10 PR65 PCGS. An extraordinary Gem proof example of this date that displays rich orange-gold fields with boldly frosted devices. This green insert generation PCGS holder predated their use of the Cameo or Deep Cameo designation, and this coin would certainly warrant one or the other as the frost on the devices is more than adequate. Furthermore, this a stunning Gem coin, with nearly perfect fields and devices. This particular coin is identifiable by a lint mark before Liberty's nose in the field and another just above before her eye. A third short lint mark connects the 86 of the date. The reverse is identifiable by a minor flake before T(EN) near the base, a faint copper speck above (U)N and another copper speck in the dentils above (ST)A. A regal coin that will certainly enhance even the finest cabinet, and is undoubtedly a contender for the Finest Known of this date.
Of the original issue of 50 pieces coined, of which perhaps one half survive, this has to be one of the most exceptional pieces. The combined NGC and PCGS population reports tally (including the plain, Cameo and Deep/Ultra Cameo coins) a small cluster of seven pieces graded this high, with none seen finer including any of the proof permutations.
Precisely how Philadelphia Mint polished the dies remains a mystery. The fields were imparted with a most curious texture which is highly reflective. The most accurate way to describe the result is to compare the fields to an orange peeling that has been polished to perfect reflectivity. A strong loupe will detect the textured evidence, but to the unaided eye the fields appear to be simply mirrorlike and perfectly reflective. We also note that several of the obverse stars appear to be doubled, caused by either the extremely high pressures used to strike these coins or the multiple strikings required to bring up the devices to the medallic like proportions seen on this specimen. One other tiny feature deserves attention here, it is the tip end of the curl which covers the upper portion of Liberty's ear, note how this curl has been brought up by the strike, and this curl feature is never seen on business strikes.
These proofs were struck on February 11 of that year. Remember that our nation was in the depths of a terrible civil war, and no clear winner had been decided. Years into the conflict and the horrific death toll continued to climb with each battle or news from soldiers involved. People were more interested in surviving, and hoping friends and loved ones would return, and priorities were as far from collecting coins as one can imagine. Somehow this particular coin has survived to come down to future numismatists, in pristine condition and without a sign of its true age. Proof gold is truly the king's caviar of American numismatics.
From The Gold Rush Collection.(#8800) (Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 28F2, PCGS# 8800)

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Auction Dates
January, 2005
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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