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Important Gem Proof 1855 Arrows Half Dime

1855 H10C Arrows PR66 PCGS. While Breen states that the 1855 proof Half Dime is not quite as rare as the 1854, such a comparison has little meaning to the average collector as few numismatists have seen even one example of either date in proof format. Over the past ten years, we have only handled one 1855 (actually, the same coin on two separate occasions). There is no official or recorded mintage for this issue, but it is generally accepted that no more than 20 pieces were struck. Of that number, an estimate of 15 pieces would be a generous estimate of those surviving today in all grades. However, the population data from PCGS and NGC certainly do not support this estimate, as a casual glance at the number certified indicates that the number graded is significantly inflated by resubmissions (e.g., 6 in PR66 at NGC).
This piece meets all the diagnostics for a proof, including the hollowing in the base above the left arrowhead from heavy die polishing, and the left base of the 1 about over the right edge of a dentil. But these diagnostics are of secondary importance as this coin "carries its own credentials." The fields are deeply mirrored on each side with no evidence of mint frost or lessening of the depth of mirrored reflectivity. The proof finish shines brightly through the scattered turquoise and gray toning that is seen on both obverse and reverse, and close examination fails to reveal any mentionable blemishes. However, this coin's pedigree may be traced in the future by the presence of five lint marks that radiate out of the top of the A in HALF on the reverse. A coin of great importance to 19th century type collectors and tied for finest known for the date.(#4433) (Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 235T, PCGS# 4433)

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Auction Dates
February, 2005
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