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Rare, Low Total Mintage 1881 Quarter Eagle
PR65 With Unacknowledged Cameo Contrast

1881 $2 1/2 PR65 PCGS. CAC. The 1881 quarter eagle is very rare both as a circulation strike and as a proof. Only 640 business strikes were produced plus 51 proofs. All the usual references mention impaired proofs and how those pieces have been confused in the past with business strikes. However, the only truly impaired proof we see on the population data from the two major services is a PR58. A few Cameo PR61 and PR62 coins exist also, but it is difficult to imagine that those pieces could be confused with business strikes.
Proofs, especially those in high grade, appear to us to be of great rarity. This is the finest non-Cameo we have handled. Among Cameo coins, the finest we have sold is a PR64 in 2004. We also have auctioned two high grade Ultra Cameo pieces in the past two years, a PR64 and a magnificent PR67. Probably only 20 or so proofs exist with and without cameo contrast, once resubmissions are subtracted from the population data.
This coin has all the look of a full-blown Cameo. The surfaces are rich reddish-golden overall, and the fields provide an illimitable depth of reflectivity for the thickly frosted devices. Close examination shows the often-seen fine orange-peel texture in the fields, a result of placing gold planchets in an annealing furnace that was previously used for copper, nickel, or silver coins and therefore too hot. The surfaces are virtually unaffected by post-striking impairments. The only easily identifiable pedigree identifier is a copper alloy spot in the upper reverse field below the TE in STATES.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 2884, PCGS# 7907)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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