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Beautifully Toned 1855 Arrows PR66 Half Dime
One of the Finest Known

1855 H10C Arrows PR66 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. There is no official or recorded mintage for the 1855 Arrows proof half dime. Indeed, Al Blythe (1992) says that proofs are "unverified." Most previous auction catalogers, however, believe that about 20 pieces were struck, and that about 15 have survived to the present day. David Akers (1997), on the other hand, estimates 50 to 60 were struck for inclusion in 1855 proof sets, with perhaps 25 to 30 coins known today. Based on the approximately 40 1855 Arrows half dime appearances over the past 15 or so years that we are aware of (several of which are "reappearances"), along with the 26 pieces certified by NGC and PCGS (likely inflated by resubmissions), we believe that about 15-20 examples are extant.
Regardless of which figures may be correct, the Kaufman 1855 Arrows proof half dime is one of the three or four finest known. Current NGC/PCGS population figures show seven PR66 coins, and none finer, some likely resubmissions.
The following roster is based on the auction appearances with plates clear enough to match:

1. PR66 NGC. The Kaufman coin. According to Phil Kaufman's notes, this may be the Eliasberg coin (Bowers and Merena, 5/1996), lot 995.
2. PR66 PCGS. Floyd T. Starr Collection (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 334; Baltimore '93 Auction (Superior, 7/1993), lot 155; Long Beach Sale (Heritage, 2/2005), lot 6157; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 369; Ira and Larry Goldberg (9/2005), lot 1609.
3. PR65 NGC. New York ANA (Superior, 8/2002), lot 715.
4. PR64 PCGS. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 6/2002), lot 2079.
5. PR64 PCGS. Thomas Sebring Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 1/2004), lot 1357.
6. PR64 NGC. Richmond Sale III (David Lawrence Rare Coins, 3/2005), lot 1092.
7. PR63 Numistrust. Pre-Long Beach (Superior, 9/2004), lot 1936. Catalogers say: "It is difficult to know 100% (if a proof) but the possibility exists in this case."
8. PR62 PCGS. Heritage (6/2005), lot 5340.
9. PR62 PCGS. Stack's (11/2006), lot 30.

Additional Citations
A. PR66 NGC. Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 370.
B. PR66 NGC. Pre-Long Beach (Superior, 2/2006), lot 459.
C. PR65 NGC. Pre-Long Beach (Superior, 10/2001), lot 1743.

Beautiful toning manifests itself in mixtures of cobalt-blue and reddish-gold splashed with whispers of lilac over both sides of this wonderful example from the Kaufman Collection. An attentive strike brings out crisp definition on the design features, leaving no elements with the slightest hint of weakness. The only pedigree identifier we can locate on the impeccably preserved surfaces is a faint linear mark from the left diagonal of the M in DIME that extends above the right upright of the same letter.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 235T, PCGS# 4433)

View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three ]

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Auction Dates
April, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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