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1856 Seated Liberty Quarter, PR65
Tied for Finest at PCGS
Ex: John Jay Pittman

1856 25C PR65 PCGS. The Philadelphia Mint produced a limited number of proof sets in 1856, two years before the official program of public offerings was started. No mintage figures were recorded, but the number was undoubtedly small. Walter Breen estimated fewer than 30 examples were still extant in 1987 and David Akers thought the number might be 25-30 specimens a decade later. The current estimate on the PCGS web site is 20-30 examples in all grades, so the population seems to be holding remarkably steady over the years.

Collectors have always prized the 1856 proof issues, even though they are much more difficult to locate than their commercially offered post-1858 counterparts. Pittsburgh collector David S. Wilson, who assembled a fine collection over the course of more than 50 years, acquired both a single example of the 1856 proof quarter and another specimen as part of a complete silver and minor proof set. When his collection was sold by S.H. Chapman on March 13 and 14, 1907, the single quarter was offered in lot 64, which realized $5 and the set in lot 1035 brought $52.

When David Akers described this identical coin in the Pittman Collection catalog, he commented that:

" is doubtful if more than 25-30 examples exist, very few of which are more choice, and almost none of which are prettier, than this specimen."

This coin displays spectacular shades of reddish-gold and blue toning on the obverse, with darker blue, violet, and gold on the reverse. The design elements exhibit razor-sharp definition throughout, except for some softness on the stars on the left. The fields are deeply reflective and eye appeal is terrific. The reverse die shows a bulge from AM in AMERICA down through the eagle's wing that is diagnostic for this issue. This coin should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Population: 2 in 65, 0 finer (6/13).
Ex: Wayte Raymond; purchased by John Jay Pittman on 5/14/1946 for $25; John Jay Pittman Collection, Part II (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1333.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 23WH, PCGS# 5552)

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Auction Dates
July, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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