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1855 $3 PR64 Cameo PCGS. An exquisitely struck near-Gem ...

2003 November Signature Sale #334

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Auction Ended On: Nov 9, 2003
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: New York, NY
Extremely Rare Specimen 1855 Princess, PR64 Cameo PCGS, Ex: Eliasberg, Bass, Woodin, Clapp
1855 $3 PR64 Cameo PCGS. An exquisitely struck near-Gem that has imposing cameo contrast and deeply reflective fields. Honey-gold and steel-blue colors alternate across the surfaces. Three very faint pinscratches are noted for pedigree purposes; below the U in UNITED, across the tip of the bust, and across the left end of the ribbon. Proofs of this date are identified by partially effaced JBL initials on the neck truncation, an attenuated leaf to the left of the date, and weakened definition on the ribbon fold inside the right half of the wreath bow, all of which occurred as the dies were polished to provide the proof surface prior to production.
Pre-1859 proof gold coins are extremely rare, and the 1855 Princess is no exception. The actual mintage is unrecorded, as sales to collectors was not an official policy until 1859. As of (9/03), PCGS has certified only three proofs of this date in all grades, one of which is impaired, while the remaining two pieces are graded PR64 and PR64 Cameo (this coin). The other PR64 example is probably either the Trompeter specimen, auctioned in February 1992 by Superior, or the Garrett specimen, sold by Stack's in March 1976. NGC has yet to certify an 1855 proof $3. Certainly, years may pass before another opportunity arrives to acquire a proof 1855 Princess, much less one with the desirable Eliasberg and Bass pedigrees.
Ex: William H. Woodin Collection (Thomas L. Elder, 3/1911); John H. Clapp estate, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 275, which realized $28,600; Auction '85 (Superior, 7/1985), lot 934, which realized $31,900; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part III (Bowers and Merena, 5/2000), lot 271, which realized $62,100. (#88018) (NGC ID# 289S, PCGS# 88018)

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