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Incredible 1901 Eagle, PR65 Ultra Cameo

1901 $10 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. While little of note changed with regard to regular-issue U.S. coinage in the earliest years of the 20th century, proofs experienced an important change in 1902, one not so epoch-making as the Mint preference for matte proofs during the American Renaissance era from 1908 to 1916, but a distinct shift with undeniable consequences nonetheless. Beginning with the proof coinage of 1902, alterations to Mint techniques resulted in lessened frost on the device areas of the dies. This led to a diminished cameo effect on the earliest examples struck from proof dies, and later specimens had the look of brilliant proofs.
Analysis of certified population data reinforces this perception. On examining the NGC Census Report listings for Liberty proof ten dollar gold coins, years such as 1889, 1892, and 1897 show that all NGC-certified examples have either a Cameo or an Ultra Cameo designation. By contrast, for four of six issues after the change--1902, 1903, 1905, and 1907--Cameo and Ultra Cameo pieces combined are in the minority. In fact, the total of five 1901-dated Ultra Cameo Liberty eagles is equal to the sum of Ultra Cameo specimens across all later issues (1/08).
This resplendent Gem, which hails from that 1901 issue, the only 20th century proof Liberty ten dollar gold piece with significant availability as an Ultra Cameo, offers incredible visual appeal. The straw-gold mirrors give off a gorgeous sheen, and the attentively struck portrait and eagle offer moderate frost that combines with the fields for a wonderful cameo effect. A small lint mark above Liberty's hair bun can serve as a useful pedigree marker. Census: 1 in 65 Ultra Cameo, 2 finer (1/08).
From The Ultra Collection.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 28G8, PCGS# 98841)

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Auction Dates
March, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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