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Wonderful 1854 Arrows Half Dime, PR661854 H10C Arrows Half Dime PR66 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. V-2. This Premium Gem, probably the finest of 15 to 20 surviving proofs, illustrates Phil Kaufman's eye for exceptional quality. It is tied with one other coin for the finest certified by NGC.
Proof coin production increased dramatically in 1854 as sets were made for more special customers than any time before. Availability of proof coins and sets to the public had to wait a few more years until 1858, but there is no doubt that certain collectors had special contacts within the Mint to obtain sets. Matthew Stickney was one of those collectors, visiting the Mint nearly every year since the mid-1840s to obtain proofs for his collection. We have attempted Census listings for most earlier dates in the Kaufman collection. Higher mintages and survival rates preclude such listings from 1854 through 1858. We will continue to provide estimates of population and provenance where possible.
The date is placed high in the exergue, crowding the base of Liberty with tiny indentations in the rock to accommodate each individual digit. The adjacent arrows to the left and right are long and slender, touching the border dentils. Star 2 is minutely recut. The shield point is over the upright of the 1, and the skirt pendant is centered over the 5. Breen described the same characteristics in his Proof Encyclopedia.
Sharp design elements, deeply mirrored fields, and fully lustrous devices create obvious cameo contrast beneath the light gold and lilac toning that prevents a Cameo designation by NGC. Census: 2 in 66, 0 finer (6/07).
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One. (#4432)(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 235S, PCGS# 4432)
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One ]
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