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Proof-Only 1895 Dollar
Sharply Contrasted PR63 Cameo

1895 $1 PR63 Cameo NGC. The 1895 Morgan silver dollar became known as a proof-only rarity within a few years after its production, leading many generations of collectors to avidly pursue the few examples available. Even neophyte collectors of this popular series know that a nominal sum of 880 examples were produced in proof format, along with a reported 12,000 business strikes -- not one of which has ever been conclusively authenticated (or much more than rumored, in fact, despite a couple of "tall tales"). The popular and plausible explanations is that: either the phantom business strikes were produced using 1894-dated dies; that they were some kind of accounting mixup; or that, if indeed 1895-dated business strikes were made, the 12 bags lay dormant in some long-forgotten Treasury vault until they were melted under the terms of the Pittman Act, sometime shortly after 1918.
The number of proofs produced for the 1895 makes it neither more nor less rare than other proof Morgan dollars in terms of supply, although the lack of any business strikes makes an enormous difference in terms of demand.
How many of those proofs exist today? Writing in the silver dollar Encyclopedia published in 1993, Q. David Bowers estimated a surviving population of unimpaired proofs of about 667 pieces (PR60 and up) and offered these thoughts:

"The preceding fits in neatly with my belief--stated in print long before these calculations were done--that perhaps 500 to 600 or so Proofs still survive. This date has a high conservation ratio as it was recognized as a rare date soon after issue, and fewer were spent [than of other proof Morgan dollars]."

The present specimen is an exceptionally well-produced example with strong field-device contrast on each side, made even more apparent by the lack of toning. There are virtually no contact marks; just a few obverse hairlines explain the PR63 grade.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 27ZR, PCGS# 87330)

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Auction Dates
May-Jun, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 21
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