Gem Proof 1853 Seated Dollar
1853 $1 Restrike PR65 NGC. A magnificent specimen of this
rare proof date. Rich navy-blue, golden-brown, and plum-red embrace
the flashy mirrored fields. Numerous criss-cross die lines are
present, as made, but no hairlines are detected. The strike is good
with minor incompleteness noted on Liberty's knees and the eagle's
left (facing) ankle.
Among Rarest Proof Dates in the Series
Because of their tiny business strike mintages, the 1851 and 1852 command a great deal of attention when they appear at auction. But the proofs for those dates are actually more available than for most pre-1858 dates. The 1853 is a reversed situation. It has a business strike mintage of 46,110 pieces, which is low but much larger than the combined 1851 and 1852 emissions. Business strikes are relatively plentiful, at least in grades through XF. Proofs are a completely different matter. Duncan Lee, in his August 2006 supplement to the Coin Dealer Newsletter, lists the 1853 as tied for third place for proof rarity within the entire Seated dollar series.
With one exception, all proof 1853 Seated dollars are believed to be restrikes. None are known to have appeared at auction prior to May, 1864, when one was listed in W. Elliot Woodward's John F. McCoy Collection sale. The diagnostics for the proof 1853 are well known. There is a series of diagonal die lines beneath Liberty's rock, over the 853 in the date. The flag of the 1 in the date is repunched south. The upright of the 1 is centered over a denticle. The reverse features a diagonal die line on the rim over the N in UNITED.
The dies used to coin business strikes are readily identified by heavy die polish lines within the eagle's shield. The date is differently placed, with the upright of the 1 centered between denticles. Clash marks are usually present on the field near Liberty's raised elbow. Although most certified proofs are from the restrike dies, an NGC PR61 appeared in our recent FUN Signature auction as lot 2948, and it met the diagnostics for business strike dies.
The definition of what constitutes a proof has become more strict within past decades. Prices realized at auction soared after 1986, when NGC and PCGS published census reports that confirmed the great rarity of the proof 1853. Relatively recent appearances of the proof 1853 Seated dollar are identified as:
1. PR66 Cameo NGC. New Netherlands Coin Co. (7/1944), sold for $150; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1685, which realized $90,750; Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One, (Heritage, 8/2007), lot 1787, which realized $184,000.
2. PR65 NGC. The present lot. A.J. Ostheimer Collection, (Lester Merkin, 9/1968), lot 350; ANA Auction (Kagin's, 8/1977), lot 1794, $5,600; Robison Collection, Part II (Stack's, 2/1982), lot 1908, which realized $8,000; Auction '82 (Paramount, 8/1982), lot 1747, which realized $6,500; Auction '84 (Paramount, 7/1984), lot 739, which realized $7,975; David Queller Collection.
3. Choice Brilliant Proof. E. E. Lamb Collection (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 350; Floyd T. Starr Collection (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 597, which realized $46,200.
4. PR62 PCGS. Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, Part II, 11/2004), lot 1518, which realized $69,000; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1014, which realized $50,600.
5. PR61 NGC. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 10/2000), lot 4394, which realized $24,150; Dr. John L. Pellegrini Collection of Liberty Seated Dollars (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10269; FUN Signature (Heritage, 2/2007), lot 1065, which realized $25,300; FUN Signature, (Heritage, 1/08), lot 2948, which realized $29,900.
6. Proof. Ely Collection (Bangs, 1/1884), lot 122; Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 271, which realized $8,500.
7. Proof. Premier Sale (Superior, 1/1984), lot 1037, which realized $2,800.
8. Proof. Amon G. Carter, Jr. Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 262, which realized $1,980.
From The Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 2527, PCGS# 6996)
View all of [The Queller Family Collection of Silver Dollars ]
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