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Remarkable 1872 Eagle, PR64 Deep Cameo
1872 $10 PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS. Ex: Simpson. In either proof
or business strike format, the 1872 eagle is a formidable rarity,
one of the premier issues in the entire Liberty Head series. The
business strikes had a mintage of just 1,620 pieces, few of which
have survived the passage of time. NGC has certified only 24
business strikes in all grades, only one of which, an MS63, has
achieved a Mint State designation.
Extreme Rarity as a Proof or Business Strike
Given the extreme rarity of high-grade circulation strikes, it is little wonder that many famous collectors--Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. and Ed Trompeter among them--preferred to collect proofs instead. The eye appeal of a choice proof is superior to virtually any business strike, since nearly all business strikes lack full mint luster or cameo contrast and are often abraded from careless storage or their stints in commerce.
Nonetheless, in terms of the number of survivors, proof 1872 eagles are even rarer than the business strikes. Thirty pieces were struck in 1872, but it is likely that most of those coins either no longer exist or are impaired. The high face value of an eagle dwarfed its numismatic premium prior to 1940, a strong temptation for heirs and dealers to deposit or spend their acquisitions.
Several high-grade proofs exist, but the present coin is one of three certified PR64 Deep Cameo at PCGS, with one PR66 Deep Cameo finer. NGC has certified only seven specimens, four as Cameo and three as Ultra Cameo. It is possible--even likely--that duplications exist within those numbers, given the high economic incentive for owners to remove the proofs from their holders and resubmit them for possible upgrades.
The present piece is remarkable for its pronounced contrast between the devices and fields. The razor-sharp motifs are radiant and appear to float above the mirrored surfaces. A loupe reveals a few trivial obverse hairlines, but the reverse is nearly immaculate, and the overall eye appeal is magnificent. Population: 3 in 64 Deep Cameo, 1 finer (6/10).
Ex: ANA Signature (Heritage, 3/2008), lot 1589, which brought $92,000.
From The Bob Simpson Collection.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28FA, PCGS# 98812)
View all of [Selections from The Bob Simpson Collection ]
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