1851 $1 Restrike PR63 Cameo PCGS. These Restrike silver dollars are sometimes also known as t...
Cameo Proof 1851 Restrike Silver Dollar1851 $1 Restrike PR63 Cameo PCGS. These Restrike silver dollars are sometimes also known as the Centered Date dollars, compared to the higher date position of Original strikes. Current knowledge suggests that all 1851 Original silver dollars were coined as circulation strikes, while all 1851 Restrike dollars were coined as proofs. Therefore, it is necessary for the collector of proof Seated dollars to acquire this variety. This example is a splendid Cameo proof with hints of champagne toning visible mostly on the frosty devices. The fields are deeply mirrored and exhibit only the faintest hairlines that are consistent with the grade.
In his 1993 Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, Dave Bowers described two different die varieties for the 1851 Restrike dollars. This piece more closely resembles the description of his second variety, although it seems to have certain elements of both varieties. The descriptions of both varieties are similar enough that they may actually represent die states of a single physical pair of coinage dies.
Little concrete history is known of these pieces. Over the years, much has been made of "Midnight Minters" and other similar clandestine operations. In the past, some (especially Walter Breen) have suggested that George and Theodore Eckfeldt made many different restrikes within the Mint for their own personal gain. The late 1850s are usually suggested as a time frame. At about this same time, coin collecting was gaining in popularity, and the Mint's own coin collection was being assembled. As intriguing as this Midnight Minter story may be, it seems equally likely that the Mint purposely made these restrikes to provide a trading stock with collectors for additions to the Mint's numismatic collection (now held by the Smithsonian Institution). Population: 1 in 63 Cameo, 1 finer (2/07). (PCGS# 86993)
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