1879 $10 PR64 PCGS....
Near-Gem Proof 1879 Ten Dollar1879 $10 PR64 PCGS. If one were to believe the dictum that mintages are always proportionate to rarity, then the proof 1879 ten dollar is obviously a great rarity, as only 30 specimens were struck. Yet even this assumption sells the date short. Walter Breen's Proof Encyclopedia claim of perhaps 10 coins surviving has turned out to be surprisingly accurate; the 2006 edition of Garrett and Guth, for example, lists nine PR60 or finer coins in the combined certified population, a group that excludes a handful of museum or impaired pieces but also may include resubmissions.
The Bass Specimen
The Bass Specimen
While the individual specimens of the 1879 ten dollar proof are not individually famous, this example certainly has one of the best-recognized pedigrees: Bass. When this piece was offered in Part II of the now-legendary auction sequence, the cataloger wrote that only a few coins "... could be called desirable for an advanced cabinet. The specimen is one of these. A strong bid is suggested, with the buyer secure in the knowledge that he or she will have a coin with few other equivalents in all of the world."
The present cataloger could not agree more with those words, and a simple glance at the near-Gem Bass coin speaks volumes to the coin's quality. Both sides are strongly mirrored with light sun-yellow color under moderate patina. The striking details are razor-sharp, and while the coin does not show a strong cameo effect, slight contrast is present. A few light hairlines on each side determine the grade.
Ex: Stack's (10/1970), lot 955; Harry W. Bass, Jr.; Bass II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1571.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 28FH, PCGS# 8819)
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