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Exceptional 1865 Quarter Eagle
PR66 Ultra Cameo
Among the Finest Certified

1865 $2 1/2 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. Ex: Sweet Collection. This marvelous and appealing Civil War-era quarter eagle dated 1865 is a match for the similarly dated gold dollar in the present auction, also provenanced to the Sweet Collection. And like the gold dollar, the quarter eagle proof mintage is recorded as a mere 25 pieces, of which Garrett and Guth estimate fewer than 15 are available in the marketplace today. As usual, particularly for proof gold, the population data are unreliable and full of duplications. NGC has seen 13 "certification events" for the 1865 quarter eagle, including eight Cameo coins and five Ultra Cameos. PCGS has seen 13 "certification events" for proof 1865 quarter eagles, including five with the Deep Cameo designation--two PR63, one PR65, and two PR66. Of course, the problem is that, if we consider all these graded pieces at NGC and PCGS combined to be different coins, more have been certified than were originally minted.
Putting aside the questionable population data, this coin is, at a minimum, tied for the finest certified at NGC from a numeric point of view. It is the sole Ultra Cameo example to garner NGC's desirable Star designation for exceptional eye appeal. Given the low absolute numbers of survivors that exist, it is extremely doubtful that a finer specimen could be found in the numismatic marketplace.
The surfaces overall display exceptional quality and eye appeal, with attractive, consistent orange-cold coloration and deep, intense field-device contrast. For pedigree purposes we note a minuscule planchet lamination in the field between stars 12 and 13, definitely as made at the Mint in the last year of the Civil War. We also believe that the tiny indentation behind Liberty's eye is of Mint origin. These tiny quibbles nonetheless do nothing to detract from the amazing appeal of this historic coin, an opinion that the NGC graders would no doubt share. This high-end proof gold coin calls to mind the old Keats poem that begins, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever/Its loveliness increases ... ." Census: 1 in 66 Ultra Cameo, 0 finer (6/10).
From The Jarosi Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 287K, PCGS# 97891)

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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