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1851 $1 Restrike PR66 Cameo NGC....

2008 April Rosemont, IL (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #1104

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Auction Ended On: Apr 17, 2008
Item Activity: 5 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Rosemont, IL
Elegant 1851 Dollar Restrike, PR66 Cameo
The Finest Known Specimen
1851 $1 Restrike PR66 Cameo NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. The Phil Kaufman 1851 Restrike proof Cameo dollar is the finest of the 45 coins certified by NGC and PCGS, and one of just eight pieces given a Cameo designation. The Restrike silver dollars are sometimes referred to as the "Centered Date" dollars, compared to the higher date position of the Original strikes. It is generally thought that all 1851 Original dollars were produced as business strikes, while all 1851 Restrike dollars were coined as proofs.
Relatively little is known about the origin of these restrikes. Some numismatists hold that Mint employees made them in the late 1850s for personal gain by satisfying collector demand. Another theory is that the Mint purposely made them to provide a trading stock with collectors for additions to its numismatic collection.
Not only is the origin of the 1851 proof Restrike dollars controversial, but so are the mintage and survival estimates. Production estimates range from 30-100 pieces, while the number surviving ranges from fewer than 30 to 60 or more. Based on the certified population of 45 coins, some likely resubmissions or crossovers, and at least 60 or so auction appearances over the last 20 years, many likely duplicates, we put extant specimens in the 25-35 range. The following roster more or less reflects this estimate:

1. PR66 Cameo NGC. The Kaufman piece. 1976 ANA Sale (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 1379; 1998 ANA Sale (Heritage, 8/1998), lot 8199.
2. PR65 PCGS. Share (Sunshine) Collection (Superior, 9/2003), lot 2089; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1012.
3. PR64 Cameo NGC. The Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 8/1996), lot 228; Dr. Richard Ariagno Collection (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 6/1999), lot 416; Dallas Coin Auction (Heritage, 4/2007), lot 987. A lint mark at star 1 and a spot under F of OF and A of AMERICA are visible on the plates.
4. PR63 NGC. The Worrell Collection (Superior, 9/1993), lot 1313.
5. PR63 Deep Cameo PCGS. Central States Numismatic Society Sale (Heritage, 5/2005), lot 7368.
6. PR63 Cameo PCGS. Charlotte National Money Show sale (Heritage, 3/2007), lot 948.
7. PR62 PCGS. The Piedmont sale (Superior, 1/1996), lot 1569; Gainsborough Sale II (Superior, 2/1997), lot 1362. Catalogers say of 1997 appearance: "Previously in PCGS holder."
8. PR62 PCGS. The Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena (9/2002), lot 373. The obverse plate shows a stain-like spot above Liberty's foot.
9. PR62 NGC. Richmond Collection II (David Lawrence Rare Coins, 11/2004), lot 1516; Central States Numismatic Society Sale (Heritage, 5/2005), lot 7637.
10. PR62 PCGS. The Bunting Collection (Stack's, 10/2007), lot 5256. The obverse plate shows a spot between 1 and 8 at top, and another to the left of star 2 (these are also mentioned by the catalogers).

Additional Appearances
A. Choice Brilliant Proof. James A. Stack, Sr. Collection (Stack's, 3/1995), lot 188; David Queller Family Collection (Stack's, 3/1997), lot 681.
B. Choice Brilliant Proof. The L.K. Rudolf Collection (Stack's, 5/2003), lot 2110.
C. PR63. The Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3798.
D. Brilliant Proof 63. Dr. Jack A. Adams Collection (Superior, 5/1992), lot 2140.
E. PR63 PCGS. Kenneth C. Long Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1995), lot 1223.
F. PR63 PCGS. The Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 703.
G. PR63 PCGS. The Glode M. Requa Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 9/2006), lot 445.
H. PR60. The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2219.

Elegant cameo contrast on Kaufman's Premium Gem jumps out at the viewer, regardless of the angle of observation. The mélange of delicate cobalt-blue, lavender, and champagne-gold patina in the fields fails to diminish either their reflectivity or their elegant cameo contrast. Light gold central devices serve to heighten even more the field-motif variance, enhancing the already stunning eye appeal. A well executed strike sharpens the design elements, save for minor softness on the centrils of the upper two stars. Finally, impeccably preserved surfaces leave little in the way of pedigree identifiers. Only an inoffensive spot beneath the ER of AMERICA and another under RI provide minimal help in this regard.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three. (PCGS# 86993)

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