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Select Proof 1842 Seated Liberty Dollar, PR631842 $1 PR63 NGC. Ex: Share Collection. Proof Seated dollars from 1842 are certainly more frequently seen than the previous year's proof dollars and are only marginally more available than the 1840 issue. However, the absolute rarity of the 1842 proof dollar is best exhibited by the estimates of survivors given by experts who have studied this fascinating series. David Akers (in his catalog of the Pittman Collection) suggested a population of 10-12 coins, while Bowers estimated 7-14 examples are extant as recognizable proofs.
All 1842 proofs, and most business strikes of this date, were struck from a single pair of dies. The main diagnostics of these coins include: horizontal die file marks around Liberty's left (facing) hand and a cluster of near-vertical ones at the crook in Liberty's right (facing) arm on each side of the pole. The reverse die is that which Breen describes as the reverse of 1842-1852; Bowers calls it the reverse of 1840-1850. Since most business strikes and all proofs were struck from this obverse die, the characteristics of the reverse die are all the more important if one has any doubt about the status of an 1842 dollar. The primary characteristics of this reverse die include:
1. Two defects, joined, appear as projections on the right side of the final A in AMERICA.
2. Each of the three elements in the vertical shield stripes extend into the crossbars with the sole exception of the final element in stripe 4.
3. The final element of stripe 1 extends to crossbar 3.
The fields on each side display deep reflectivity that could only be found on proof coinage. The surfaces are bright with evidence of light hairlines, which account for the grade. There are three small planchet flaws on Liberty's neck, and a semi-circular planchet lamination in the lower right obverse field--both of which will serve as useful pedigree identifiers for some future cataloger/researcher. The centers are generally free from color with rich russet and cobalt-blue toning scattered around the margins. Census: 3 in 63, 3 finer (11/06).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24ZS, PCGS# 6983)
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