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Spectacular PR64 Deep Cameo 1899 Eagle

1899 $10 PR64 Deep Cameo ANACS. Proof gold is renowned as the crème de la crème of American numismatics: at once eminently approachable, yet sometimes unobtainable. Writing in 1989, Walter Breen, in his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1989, states that the 1899 proof eagle is "much rarer than commonly believed; seldom shows up." Indeed, a search through our auction archives reveals that we have offered this issue for sale only six times in the last dozen or so years, and that less than two dozen total examples have been offered for sale since 1976, for an average of less than one auction appearance per year. And, of course, Deep Cameo pieces such as the present example are exponentially rarer still. NGC and PCGS together report only a single piece graded in PR64 Deep Cameo, with eight graded finer (5/06). As another point of reference, the legendary Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection had a PR62 Cameo example of this issue.
As per the Breen volume, this specimen--for a "specimen" it most assuredly is--shows the diagnostic recutting on the base of the 1 and the "microscopic" recutting on the base of the 8. Breen states that only 86 specimens were produced, with an estimated survival of 25 to 30 pieces today. The piece shows marvelous "black-on-gold" contrast provided by the deeply mirrored fields against near-pristine devices. Only the most trivial evidence of contact is in evidence: a minuscule luster graze on the chin, invisible without a loupe, and some tiny marks below the eagle, also unnoticeable except under magnification. Save for these minutiae, this spectacular piece would almost certainly rate a Gem grade. Proof gold specialists would do well to heed the sound of opportunity knocking here.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 28G6, PCGS# 98839)

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Auction Dates
July, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 2,281

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