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Choice Toned Proof 1848 Seated Liberty Dollar

1848 $1 PR64 NGC. The exact number of Proofs struck is not known, nor is the exact number surviving today, but both figures are certainly very small, and probably both figures are less than 100 pieces. Dave Bowers had suggested a Proof mintage of 25 to 35 coins and anywhere from nine to 17 surviving today. Years earlier, Walter Breen had itemized eight Proof examples.
This Choice Proof is fully struck and unquestionably a Proof example. It is the "badge variety" described by Walter Breen and Dave Bowers, with small die pits forming raised dots on Liberty's breast, as if she were wearing one of more small badges. There is also a tiny die chip on her head, just above and behind the eye and joined to the front of the hairline. The reverse die is very well made with virtually no anomalies that will help to prove multi-year usage, although a few of the vertical shield lines extend upward into the horizontal lines. Specifically, all three lines of the first stripe extend to the second horizontal line, with the right-most line of this stripe extending to the third crossbar. The third line of stripe 5 extends lightly to the fourth horizontal line and the first line of stripe 6 extends to the second horizontal line. A minor protrusion extends from the right side of the final A in AMERICA and looks like two joined triangular projections. This same reverse die was used to coin most or possibly all Proof Silver Dollars from 1840 to 1850. In the Stack's catalog of the Floyd Starr Collection (October 1992), the cataloger suggested that these reverse die features were in the hub that was used to produced dies circa 1849 to 1850.
The fields of this near-Gem are deeply mirrored, while the devices are satiny and lustrous. There is enough contrast to provide exceptional eye appeal, but perhaps not enough to warrant the Cameo designation. The devices have light silvery-gray color with wisps of blue toning. The fields on both sides have lovely intermingled heather, gold, and pale blue color. Aside from a few faint hairlines, only visible with magnification, the surfaces are exquisite and deserving of a Gem grade.(#6989) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24ZY, PCGS# 6989)

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