1854 10C Arrows PR66 Deep Cameo NGC....
Impressive 1854 Cameo Proof Dime1854 10C Arrows PR66 Deep Cameo NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. We repeat our description from the 2007 ANA sale, where this coin was offered in Part One of The Phil Kaufman Collection.
In addition to its status as the only Premium Gem to receive the Cameo designation from NGC, the Kaufman proof 1854 dime may be the finest surviving example of this issue.
Walter Breen recorded eight different proofs in his 1977 Proof Encyclopedia, noting that he had seen a few others. David Akers wrote in the Pittman catalog that 30 to 35 may have been struck, but only 10 to 12 pieces have survived. Even though an exact population of proofs is not confirmed, this issue is clearly rarer than the 1854 half dime. The lower number of pieces known today may indicate that some proofs sets were issued by the Mint with business strike dimes. In later years, it is known that some sets consisted of a mixture of proofs and business strikes.
At the Mint, James Ross Snowden took the helm during the previous year, with 1854 representing his first full year in charge. Perhaps it is Snowden who deserves the credit for increased proof mintage. In the Eliasberg catalog, Dave Bowers called Snowden "the most numismatically interested person to hold the position up to that time."
Like the half dime, every digit touches the base of Liberty, and the arrowheads are large, joining the base and the border on each side of the date. Faint die lines extend vertically through the date and arrowheads from the border to the base. The shield point is over the left upright of the 1 and the skirt pendant is slightly left of center over the 5. The 5 and 4 are joined. Several reverse letters have tiny raised defects on their top surface.
A fully brilliant proof, the surfaces have faint champagne color over silver-white surfaces. Faint hairlines are present in the fields, but the devices are pristine and nearly perfect. Every design feature is crisp, including a full wire edge around the entire circumference on both sides. (PCGS# 94743)
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