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Rare 1856 Seated Liberty Quarter, PR65
Only 25-30 Pieces Minted in Proof

1856 25C PR65 PCGS. CAC. The Philadelphia Mint began its program of commercial proof production in 1858, when Mint Director James Ross Snowden published ordering instructions and a list of prices for obtaining proof examples of various denominations from that facility. Before that date, no official records were kept of proof production, and the number of coins minted was quite limited. Regarding the 1856 proof mintage, Walter Breen comments, "In some ways this is one of the most difficult and complicated dates of the series." Breen estimates the proof quarter mintage as less than 30 pieces, while Larry Briggs estimates the total as 25+ examples. Proof quarters of 1856 are quite rare in all grades today, with Gem specimens almost unobtainable. NGC has certified four coins in PR65, with two examples finer; while PCGS has graded only one example at the Gem Proof level, with none finer (11/09).
Briggs designates the proof die marriage as combination 10-H, with a diagnostic die bulge on the reverse from the first A in AMERICA to the eagle's wing, down through the arrow shafts to the L of DOL. The present coin features reflective proof surfaces under delightful gray, blue, and violet toning. Numerous die striations are evident in the fields, as usually seen on this issue. The strike is remarkably sharp, with only slight softness on stars 12 and 13. The coin offered here is one of the most attractive survivors from the tiny proof mintage and we expect intense competition from series enthusiasts when this lot is called.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 23WH, PCGS# 5552)

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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