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Gem Cameo Proof 1854 Seated Dollar

1854 $1 PR65 Cameo PCGS. The Coinage Act of February 1853 served to reduce the weight of smaller denomination silver coins, however, did not alter the weight of silver dollars. As such, these coins continued to have a silver value greater than their face value, and were highly sought by bullion dealers as well as individual hoarders. As such, there are few circulation strike survivors from the mintage of 33,140. An additional explanation may be found in Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia. He noted that 10,000 of these coins were shipped to San Francisco on November 11, 1854 to serve as "small change." It is unfortunate that Breen did not reveal his source for this information. With 10,000 of these circulating in California, where the higher melt value would not have mattered, those coins are essentially gone today. They likely would have stayed in circulation for a long time before being melted. It is certainly possible that many of this mintage were shipped overseas in the oriental trade. Businessmen in the Orient were simply not going to accept obsolete bank notes or any other kind of paper promise. These are some of the influences that turned circulation strike dollars of 1854 into rarities.
The obverse has a triangular defect near the base of Liberty, over the space between the digits 54. This characteristic looks very much like the top of a misplaced 4. Proof examples are extremely rare. The mintage of Proof dollars is not known, however, it was certainly a small quantity. The PCGS Population Report records the mintage as 30 pieces, and they have certified 16. For later years, they have certified roughly one-third the original mintage which would suggest that closer to 50 Proofs of this date were struck. Regardless of the number struck or the number surviving today, these coins are rare. And this example is the finest Cameo Proof 1854 dollar ever certified by PCGS. In fact, it is one of just two 1854 Proof dollar given a Cameo designation. the other piece numerically graded PR62. It is also the finest numerical Proof dollar of this issue, as the next best certified by PCGS is a Proof-64 coin. Both the obverse and reverse of this Cameo Gem have deeply mirrored fields, significantly lustrous devices, and sharp design features. The obverse has brilliant gold toning and the reverse is fully brilliant. This is an impressive Gem that will please everyone. Population: 1 in 65, 0 finer (10/05).
Ex: Heritage (11/2004), lot 7614; Bowers and Merena (3/2005), lot 2032.
From The Jack Lee Collection, III(#86997) (NGC ID# 4SJH, PCGS# 86997)

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Auction Dates
November, 2005
3rd-5th Thursday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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