Welcome Sign-In | Register
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


The Phil Kaufman 1838 No Drapery Dime
PR67 Cameo, Sole Proof Certified
Possibly Unique Survivor

1838 10C No Drapery PR67 Cameo NGC. Of all the amazing coins formerly in the Phil Kaufman Collection, this 1838 Superb Gem Cameo proof dime was among the most incredible. It is not only the solitary Cameo certified by either NGC or PCGS, is also the only proof example of the date seen by either service. This is unsurprising, as the 1838 proof dime is an extremely rare issue. Little mention appears in the numismatic literature. Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia gives only a question mark for the mintage figure, but then says "at least three proofs known." Many famous recent collections have lacked a proof example of the issue, including the Norweb, Lovejoy, Eliasberg, and Pittman collections. While Breen suggests the possibility of three known proofs, it is also possible that this piece is unique in proof.
The only references to auction appearances of 1838 proof dimes are in Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, 1722-1989. Breen cites the F.C.C. Boyd-Adolph Friedman and Samuel W. Wolfson examples. Unfortunately, none of them include a photograph of the sale specimen, preventing us from determining whether the Kaufman coin is a match. We do, however, present the catalog description for each of those appearances.

1. Numismatic Gallery, World's Greatest Collection, Boyd, May 11-12, 1945, lot 510: "1838. K-1 (A. Kosoff attribution). Stars on obverse... . No drapery. Perfect die. Brilliant proof, scarce. Estimate Price $15.00." Price realized was $27.50; Numismatic Gallery, Friedman, August 20-21, 1946, ANA, lot 261: "K-1. With Stars. No drapery. Perfect die. Brilliant proof. Rare. (W.G.C.) Estimate Price $27.50." Price realized was $32.50.
2. "Impaired" (per Breen). Stack's May 3, 4, 1963, Samuel W. Wolfson Collection of United States Coins, Part II, Silver and Copper Coins, lot 530: "1838 Large Stars. A Proof impression. The obverse field is a trifle rubbed." This piece realized $100 at the time.

The present piece shows repunching on stars 1, 8, 9, and 12, most notably on star 8, and these are the only visible die characteristics on either side. Otherwise, both dies were quite well made. The richly frosted motifs stand out against the reflective fields, yielding magnificent cameo contrast. Additionally, the sharp strike has created strong, uniform definition on the design features, including all of the star centers, Liberty's hair and gown lines, and the leaf ribbing. The immaculately preserved surfaces are virtually stone-white with just a hint of light golden at the margins, and devoid of mentionable marks. Only a couple of tiny flaws appear, a lint mark below the A in STATES, and a barely perceptible contact mark on the lower right of the O in ONE. We point these out solely for identification purposes, as this Superb Gem possesses no other pedigree markers. The technical quality and aesthetic appeal of this coin are unimprovable, and at any rate this piece, given the infrequent appearances, may be the only proof 1838 dime surviving today.
Phil Kaufman told us before this coin's last offering: "I bought this coin in 1999. I first saw it almost 10 years earlier and did not buy it because I felt it was overpriced. I ended up paying MUCH more in 1999."
Ex: Phil Kaufman Collection, Part Two / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3017, which brought $161,000.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part I. (NGC ID# 23BP, PCGS# 84721)

View all of [The Greensboro Collection, Part I ]

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
October, 2012
18th-21st Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bids: 8
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 3,800

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

Heritage membership

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
Consign now
  • Cash Advances
  • More Bidders
  • Trusted Experts
  • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
Only 1 day left to consign to the 2016 June 22 - 23 World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong!

Learn about consigning with us

That the sale was a world record is very much a result of the effort and care you put into the sale and should be considered a salute to you.
Larry J.,
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2016 April 27 - May 1 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2016 April 27 - May 1 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED SO FAR $21,414,188
2016 April 14 - 19 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
2016 April 14 - 19 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
REALIZED SO FAR $6,316,878
2016 January 7 - 11 FUN World Currency Signature Auction - Tampa
2016 January 7 - 11 FUN World Currency Signature Auction - Tampa
REALIZED $757,758

© 2016 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved