1903 $10 PR66 NGC....
Premium Gem Proof 1903 Ten Dollar1903 $10 PR66 NGC. The matte proof obsession displayed by the Mint for its sequence of new coinage designs starting in 1907 may have set off the final backlash that led to the exile of proofs from its repertoire for two decades, but today's collectors recognize another, earlier change as also being of great importance. Starting in 1902, just as proof gold mintages were hitting their zenith, the Mint altered its procedures for preparing proof dies, creating a new finish that tended toward an all-mirror, low-contrast appearance.
As a result, many of the most accessible classic proof gold issues come with brilliant devices instead of frosted. In a case of "numismatic rarity is relative" in action, Garrett and Guth write about this date:
"The 1903 Proof eagle is one of the most common dates of the period, but only in relative terms, as any coin with a population estimated at 40 to 50 pieces is rare indeed. Like the 1902, this date is usually found with brilliant surfaces and it is rarely found with any kind of cameo contrast."
This Premium Gem specimen displays the overall brilliant appearance that is the signature of most 20th century Liberty gold proofs, though there is considerable field-to-device contrast on the reverse with its sharply struck and subtly textured eagle. Color is pale yellow-gold with a hint of green, and the reflectivity is intense. A minimally flawed survivor with maximum eye appeal. Census: 5 in 66, 2 finer (3/11).(Registry values: N69) (NGC ID# 28GA, PCGS# 8843)
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