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1873 Closed 3 Ten Dollar
PR64, One of 25 Proofs Struck

1873 $10 PR64 PCGS. A design ambiguity in the original 1873 date logotype led to swift complaints and a just-as-swift correction early in the year. While the Open 3 and Closed 3 three dollar gold proof issues of 1873 muddy the waters, there is little ambiguity among other denominations; proof gold is consistently of the Closed 3 variety. The reasons for that, and more besides, appear in the Garrett and Guth commentary for the proof 1873 ten dollar, from the Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins:

"The Proof eagles of 1873 are all of the Close 3 variety, which is logical since Proofs were generally struck earlier in the year. Since the Open 3 was a correction of the Close 3 (which looked like an 8), it follows that the only Proof would have been of the latter. This date appears to be more common than most of the other dates in the 1870s, even after factoring out resubmissions. The Mint made aluminum trial strikes of this date in Proof, and it is possible that some were gold-plated and passed as the more valuable version (most gilt patterns that exist today are the result of such nefarious activities."

This specimen, though, is 90% gold and 100% desirable. It offers deep orange-gold color in the fields and considerable cameo contrast, though the green label holder does not acknowledge this. Lightly clouded in the fields with a few scattered hairlines, yet a coin that retains undeniable majesty, especially in the context of its mintage, a mere 25 pieces. Population: 3 in 64, 0 finer (11/10).
From The Henry Miller Collection.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28FB, PCGS# 8813)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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