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1863 $1 PR69 NGC....

2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago #1184

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Auction Ended On: Apr 25, 2013
Item Activity: 10 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel
1551 North Thoreau Drive
Schaumburg, IL 60173


1863 Seated Liberty Dollar, PR69
Spectacular Toning and Eye Appeal
Finest Known, Ex: Kaufman
1863 $1 PR69 NGC. Ex: Kaufman. Perhaps one of the most incredible Seated Liberty dollars that has ever appeared on the market, this piece is only one grade point away from absolute perfection. It is the only No Motto Seated dollar that NGC has certified as PR69. PCGS has never certified one of these pieces in such a lofty grade. The only comparable examples are two 1866 With Motto dollars that NGC has certified PR69. Without a doubt, this is the single finest proof No Motto dollar that exists today.

Only 460 proofs were coined in 1863, and less than half of those pieces are known to present-day numismatists. Perhaps only 150 to 200 examples are still extant in all grades. It is believed that most or all of the 460 proofs actually found buyers at the time they were struck, despite the difficulties that were encountered in the ordering process. Q. David Bowers and Mark Borckardt explained these difficulties in their series reference Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States, A Complete Encyclopedia:

"After July 1862, ordering Proof coins from the Mint became a very difficult business, for silver coins rose significantly above face value (due to widespread hoarding by the public), and the Mint established two price schedules: one price (higher) for payment in greenbacks or bank drafts, and a lower price for payment in coin, like for like. Collectors either had to pay the higher price in greenbacks or purchase hard money from bullion dealers at a steep premium in order to purchase proof sets"

Interestingly, silver proof sets of 1863 began appearing on the secondary market almost immediately, probably because of their increased intrinsic value. A seven-piece proof set, cent through silver dollar, was offered in lot 94 of the J.P. Leavitt Collection (Edward Cogan, 9/1863). Additional valuable information about 19th century monetary conditions, especially during the Civil War, is given in Neil Carothers' book Fractional Money, one of the best and most useful books ever published on the topic of subsidiary U.S. coinage.

Two different die varieties are known for the 1863 proof dollars. Bowers described the first variety as having the date "slightly low on the coin and slightly right of center. Shield point is left of the tip of 1; left base of 1 over space between border denticles. Reverse: Two arrows joined by a defect; unpolished area joins upper and center leaves, including a curved line." Details of the second variety are sketchy: "Low date, as above, but from a different die. Reverse: Different from preceding." The present coin represents Bowers' first variety, as do almost all specimens we have seen.

Every design element on each side of this incredible coin is intricately and completely detailed. The virtually perfect fields are deeply mirrored with exceptional eye appeal. Both sides have a small circle of bright silver luster at the center, surrounded by amazing amber, blue, and violet toning that appears to rise from the center of the coin to the surface. The underlying devices are fully lustrous, creating excellent cameo contrast as they sit upon the fields. Census: 1 in 69, 0 finer (3/13).
Ex: Philip Kaufman; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2003), lot 7549; Franklinton Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 8/2006), lot 735; Baltimore Signature (Heritage, 7/2008), lot 1760.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part III.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 252H, PCGS# 7006)

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