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Original 1867 With Rays Proof Shield Nickel, PR66 Cameo

1867 5C Rays PR66 Cameo NGC. This is the second original striking we have offered of this extreme rarity in the past three auctions. The original proof strikings appear to date from February 8, 1867, and it seems that no more than 10 pieces are extant today out of the 25 proofs struck on that date. The diagnostics, as published less than a year ago by John Dannreuther, are: 1) left base of 1 over right part of dentil, 7 recut, lower shield clear, full "detached" leaf; 2) area below right arrow shaft directly behind the arrowhead clear; 3) upper top left of shield to nearest leaf has small polish lines; 4) tiny die line through two leaves below the "detached" leaf continuing into the leaf below; 5) die line from 7th horizontal stripe angling down through several stripes; curly die line from 10th horizontal stripe down through left side of shield ending in the circle; 6) strong inner left bar to W in WE; 7) inner right berries recut with tiny polish line from the lower berry to the adjacent leaf; and 8) "detached" lower right part of the left arrow feather.
Apparently there were later restrikings of this issue done under Mint Director Henry Linderman for collectors of the day. Thus, the importance of an original striking of this rarity in the year of issue. While we cannot say for certain, this particular coin must rank as the finest example known. The fields show unfathomable depth of mirrored reflectivity and the devices display snow-white mint frost which gives the coin a pronounced cameo effect on each side. There are no obvious contact marks on either side, and as an aid in tracing this important coin's pedigree in the future we note a short lint mark to the left of the date and a tiny russet colored spot to the right of the fletchings of the arrow on the right (facing) side of the shield.
The PR60 coin we sold in our New York Sale in November brought an impressive $17,250. What will a coin that grades six points higher and with cameo contrast realize? (#3818) (Registry values: P6, N78000) (NGC ID# 276H, PCGS# 3818)

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Auction Dates
January, 2004
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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