1898 $10 PR68 Ultra Cameo NGC. Ex: Norweb. With great pride we present the highest graded proof Liberty Head eagle, ano...
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Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry (Emery May Holden) Norweb were another famous "collector couple" fortunate enough to be present at the 1954 Palace Collection sale of the numismatic treasures of the deposed King Farouk of Egypt. As a young girl, Emery May Holden learned the love and lore of coins from her father, Albert Fairchild Holden, publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and an active collector from 1910 to 1913, as well as her grandfather Liberty Holden, who had interests in mining and newspapers, and specialized in medals of George Washington. A gift of a 1795 pendant-mounted gold eagle to young Emery May from her grandfather, made when she was 11 or 12 years old in 1915, launched her lifetime of coin collecting. Many years later she and her diplomat husband resumed collecting with a vengeance, through purchases from illustrious auction sales such as the memorable King Farouk offerings. Among the more memorable coins in the massive Norweb collection, dispersed in 1987 and 1988 after the Norwebs' death through three auction sales, were: a 1913 Liberty Head nickel; an 1894-S Barber dime; an 1876-CC twenty cent piece; an 1838-O half dollar; an 1870-S Seated Liberty dollar; an 1885 Trade dollar; an 1861 P-mint Paquet Reverse double eagle; and a 1907 Ultra High Relief double eagle.
The present coin, while not as legendary as those ultra-rarities, in another way is every bit as memorable as those phenomenal specimens. This PR68 Ultra Cameo 1898 eagle is the highest graded example of the issue at either NGC or PCGS. This piece is also the single finest graded of the entire Liberty Head type at either service (11/06). A close perusal of the NGC and PCGS population data, indeed, will confirm that precious few coins of the type--numbering less than three dozen pieces--are graded PR67, a fact that makes this spectacular PR68 Ultra Cameo coin even more rare and memorable. Most of the pieces grading PR67 understandably date from 1890s and 1900s, although NGC has graded one PR67 Ultra Cameo eagle dating back to 1839! It is also noteworthy--as our spectacular run of high grade proof gold coins from 1898 bears out--that the year was an especially good one for proof gold. NGC has also graded a total of five 1898 eagles in PR67, as Cameo or Ultra Cameo.
As might be expected, the present example approaches perfection in every conceivable aspect. The fields go "black" when tilted at the proper angle with thick, frosted golden luster. Each side is nearly perfectly preserved. Like the quarter eagle from this set, this coin shows extreme orange-peel texture--only on this piece it is on the obverse rather than the reverse.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 28G5, PCGS# 98838)
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