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1867 With Rays Shield Nickel, PR65 Cameo
Dannreuther-1, Brilliant and Rare

1867 5C Rays PR65 Cameo PCGS. CAC. Dannreuther-1, Reverse Die State b. The 1867 Rays proof nickel has been recognized as a major 19th century rarity for many years. Recent (2007) in-depth research published by John Dannreuther gave diagnostics and a plausible emission sequence regarding original and restrike coins, and announced the discovery of a third obverse die used for restriking these pieces. This appears to be one of the original strikings, although possibly from a second striking period, as indicated by the later state of the reverse die. Among the obverse diagnostics that indicate the Dannreuther-1 obverse are:

--The left base of the 1 is over the right part of a dentil;
--The 7 in the date is recut;
--The top-right olive leaf is detached, and a tiny die line runs from the two leaves below it;
--The lower shield is clear of die polishing;
--Two die lines run diagonally downward through the central portion of the horizontal shield stripes; and
--The lower-right part of the left arrow feathers is missing;

Based on current knowledge and die-state evidence, it is believed these coins would have been struck after the Dannreuther-1 Reverse Die State a coins in 1867, and before the Dannreuther-2 obverse die (showing Reverse Die State c) was employed (later in 1867 or early 1868, most likely).

In this later state of the reverse die (a die common to all three obverses used for the 1867 With Rays proofs), noted as State b by Dannreuther, these diagnostics appear:

--Die lapping or polishing has noticeably thinned the center ray of the trio of rays below the second T in STATES; and
--The denticles at the reverse rim from 3 to 5 o'clock are perceptibly thinner than the rest;

This Gem Cameo proof is brilliant throughout both sides, showing fields that are deeply reflective and set up significant cameo contrast against the frosted devices. The brilliance is only interrupted by slight haziness on the reverse. A splendid example of this significant low-mintage issue.
Ex: Los Angeles Signature (Heritage, 8/2009), lot 1041, which brought $69,000.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 276H, PCGS# 83818)

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Auction Dates
January, 2014
8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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