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Description

1867 Shield Nickel, PR64 Cameo
Classic Rarity With Rays
Only Nine Finer Coins at PCGS

1867 5C Rays PR64 Cameo PCGS. Dannreuther-1A, State a/a. The 1867 With Rays proof Shield nickel is one of the rarest coins in the U.S. federal coinage series, and one of the most mysterious. While the 2013 Guide Book lists a mintage of 25+ pieces for the issue, based on Mint records and the research of Walter Breen, population data indicates a larger surviving population. Recent research by John Dannreuther suggests that the issue was restruck on several occasions, using three different obverse dies in different die states and a single reverse die, also in different die states.
The Mint experienced many striking problems with the Shield nickel design in 1866, and Chief Coiner A. Louden Snowden and Chief Engraver James B. Longacre advocated removing the rays from the reverse, in hopes of improving striking quality. Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch ordered the removal of the rays on January 21, 1867, severely limiting the period in which Original With Rays coins should have been struck. Probably 10-15 specimens were produced in this period, using the Dannreuther-1 obverse in its earliest state and the With Rays reverse, also in its earliest state. Collector demand was high for this issue, and perhaps 40-60 Restrikes were produced at different intervals in the following years, probably coinciding with the terms of Henry Linderman as Mint Director.
The present coin represents the Original proof striking, Dannreuther-1A, State a/a, with the 1 in the date over the right side of a dentil. This delightful Choice specimen is sharply detailed throughout, with frosty devices that contrast boldly with the mirrored fields. The pleasing surfaces are blanketed in attractive shades of champagne-gold toning and show only minor signs of contact. Eye appeal is extraordinary. Population for all Rays varieties: 5 in 64 Cameo, 9 finer (11/12).(Registry values: P6) (PCGS# 83818)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
9th-14th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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