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Cameo PR66 1860 Three Dollar1860 $3 PR66 Cameo NGC. The official mintage figures for the three earliest wide-release proof three dollar gold issues -- the 1859, 1860, and 1861 -- are likely gross mintages rather than net; in the example of the 1860 proof, Garrett and Guth write that despite a stated mintage of 119 pieces, "the true mintage is probably somewhere between 40 and 60 Proofs." That figure is more in line with stated production figures from 1862 to 1864, which ranged 35 to 50 pieces.
The authors make further relevant notes about the 1860 three dollar gold proof, stating that on average, "this date appears at auction less than once a year." While Heritage offered a different example in February 2011 at Long Beach, the knowledgeable collector of proof gold will recognize this as an unusual "bonus" opportunity at the date, since the rest of Heritage's auction history for the issue is sparse indeed.
The mirrors on each side of this Premium Gem specimen have intense sun-yellow color that borders on orange, while the devices show a distinctly lighter tone in addition to their ample frost. The strike is crisp as expected, and though a few tiny lint marks and other imperfections are present (such as a small depression near 3 o'clock on the reverse), the surfaces are carefully preserved overall, with only minor clouding and other flaws precluding an even finer designation. Census: 4 in 66 Cameo, 0 finer (3/11).
Ex: FUN 2005 (Heritage, 1/2005), lot 30433.
From The Slotkin Family Trust Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 289Y, PCGS# 88023)
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