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Description

Gem Proof 1850 Seated Dollar, The Starr Specimen

1850 $1 PR65 NGC. There are two known die marriages of the proof 1850 Seated Dollar, one of which is divided into two die states. The first marriage combines a Closed 5 obverse with a new reverse die that was not used to produce any of the earlier proofs in this series. The Mint also used these dies to produce business strike 1850 Seated Dollars of the Closed 5 variety. The second marriage combines an obverse identifiable by an Open 5 in the date and repunching at the base of the 0 with the same reverse used to produce most proofs of the 1840-1850 era (two defects at the right side of the final A in AMERICA). Apparently, the Mint struck a limited number of proofs with this die combination before using the obverse to produce business strike 1850 Dollars of the Open 5 variety. During business strike production, the die cracked through the base of the date and was repolished. The die was re-mated with the same reverse die as before to produce more proofs. Breen suggests that some of the proofs of this die state may be restrikes, but evidence is not conclusive.
It is probable that no more than 25 proof 1850 Seated Dollars of all varieties and die states are extant. This issue is more available than most of the proof dates 1840-1849, perhaps because a decent number of restrikes were produced to satisfy collector demand for the low mintage 1850 date. The present example is undoubtedly an original of the Open 5 variety. There is no crack through the base of the date. The obverse portrait is modestly frosted, the balance of the features are reflective beneath a dusting of original dove-gray and steel-blue patina. A wholly original Gem with a needle sharp strike. Identifiable by a small obverse toning spot on Liberty's torso and four planchet voids (as struck) in the reverse field: two above the ES in STATES, one above the T in UNITED, and the final one below the first A in AMERICA.
Ex: T. J. Schaeffer (Noble, Pennsylvania), to Floyd T. Starr, date of transaction unknown; Floyd T. Starr Collection (Stack's, 10/92), lot 593, where it realized $32,000. (NGC ID# 2522, PCGS# 6991)

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Auction Dates
April, 2002
25th-27th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
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