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1858 PR64 Cameo Seated Dollar
Proof-Only Issue and a Series Key

1858 $1 PR64 Cameo PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The 1858 Seated dollars are a proof-only issue, one of the treasured and revered rarities of U.S. numismatics. Although for many years the mintage figure of 80 proofs was bandied about, starting with the Chapman brothers in the mid-19th century, today numismatists and the Guide Book employ a more realistic estimate of 300 coins.
The Bowers Silver Dollar Encyclopedia neatly encapsulates the celebrity of the 1858 Seated dollars:

"The 1858, the solitary Proof-only issue among 34 dates of Liberty Seated silver dollars, for decades has been a numismatic Brocken specter--a coin larger than reality, an object of collecting desire, a badge of accomplishment, a game prize sought by some coin buyers who don't even collect Liberty Seated dollars but, somehow, want the distinction that comes with owning a dollar of this date. This is the Liberty Seated series' counterpart to the Proof-only 1895 dollar in the Morgan series."

The 1858 Seated dollar is today mentioned in the same breath with the 1851 and 1852 issues as the Big Three of the series. Despite the small mintage, since they were issued only to numismatists, many nice specimens survive today. As might be expected with a mintage about one-third of the 1895 Morgan dollars, the 1858 Seated dollars are still far rarer than their later counterpart.
The present example is, nonetheless, a particularly nice example for the issue. It offers brightly mirrored fields that set up excellent contrast with the frosty devices. The strike is full overall, and the surfaces display only a hint of light amber-gold patina. A few field hairlines appear under a glass, and there is a thin scrape in the obverse field near star 5--minor distractions compared to the overall appeal of this great rarity. Population: 2 in 64 Cameo, 0 finer (6/10).
From The Bob Simpson Collection. (NGC ID# 252C, PCGS# 87001)

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August, 2010
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