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The Eliasberg 1845 Proof Seated Dollar

1845 $1 PR64 NGC. Breen-5433. Recut Date. Over the years there has been considerable confusion surrounding the Proof dollars of 1845. In his Proof Encyclopedia, Walter Breen described two different varieties resulting from two obverse dies and two reverse dies. Breen correctly identified the obverse dies as a Recut Date and a Normal Date. Dave Bowers addressed this issue in his Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, identifying two different varieties, both from the same Recut Date obverse, but from different reverse dies. Part of the confusion is strictly a result of the rarity of these coins in Proof condition. Although past estimates have placed the number of surviving Proofs at less than 10 coins, we currently have records of at least 14 distinctly different examples!
The Jack Lee Collection provides an important opportunity to study these coins in detail. Remarkably, this offering includes two different Proof 1845 Seated Dollars, and these are examples of the two different varieties! We find that the true situation among 1845 Proof Dollars is a combination of two obverse dies and one reverse die. These two obverse dies are distinguished by having a Recut Date or a Normal Date. The Recut Date obverse has the date positioned slightly farther to the right, so that the shield point is over the left serif of the digit 1. The Normal Date, in the next lot, has the shield point position approximately over the center of the upright of this same digit. The position of the date in relation to the shield is an easier characteristic to identify in older catalog photos when seeking pedigrees of these coins.
This is a splendid Proof example with light gold toning over silver surfaces on the obverse, and slightly deeper gold color on the reverse. Full mirrored surfaces are visible on both sides, including within the shield stripes on the reverse. These mirrored fields meet the devices crisply without any transition as usually seen on business strikes.
Ex: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2209; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1510.
From The Jack Lee Collection, III(#6986) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24ZV, PCGS# 6986)

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Auction Dates
November, 2005
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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