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1887 Half Eagle, PR65 Cameo
Proof-Only Issue

1887 $5 PR65 Cameo NGC. Ex: Miller Collection. Two gold denominations, the half eagle and double eagle, were proof-only at Philadelphia in 1887, and of all the rest, only the eagle was minted in more than token quantities as a business strike. The date has become synonymous with challenging proof gold. Among With Motto Liberty proof half eagles, it ranks as the second most expensive date in all grades, behind only the still-more-legendary 1875 (whose 20 proofs are linked inextricably to the same date's mere 400 business strikes), and even in the No Motto era, there are no post-1859 dates which provide a suitable challenge, at least at the Select proof level of preservation.
The other side of the proof 1887 half eagle's rarity is that while the date is undoubtedly elusive, the constant demand has created strong incentives for owners to sell, and the issue appears at auction with more frequency than others in the same range. Of course, such figures are relative rather than absolute, and even the appearance of two examples of the date in this auction cannot change that fact.
These facts make the offering of the present coin all the more important and impressive. It has rich lemon-yellow luster in reflective fields that show light patina and orange-peel texture, and surrounded by the fields are boldly impressed and thickly frosted devices. Only a few light hairlines stand between this near-Gem and an even finer designation. Census: 6 in 65 Cameo, 0 finer (6/12).(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 3YPF, PCGS# 88482)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 655

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