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Lovely Gem PR65 Deep Cameo 1862 Three Dollar Gold

1862 $3 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. The 1862 three dollar gold piece is among the first of a long string of P-mint rarities in this series, produced at a time when the Civil War raged and the outcome of the war was very much in doubt--and much less certain to Easterners and Union sympathizers than it was in 1861. The three dollar gold coin was never particularly useful; most saw little circulation, but in this year, in the midst of the Civil War, all other gold and silver coins, and eventually even copper, disappeared from circulation as well. Gold coins vanished first early in the year, silver coins were gone by summer, and cents disappeared by July. A glut of substitutes arose: privately printed currency, regular-issue postage stamps, bronze tokens (a.k.a. "Civil War tokens") that broadly resembled the old-style copper large cents, and later in the year federal postage currency, printed to resemble postage stamps.
In addition to the low business-strike emission of 5,750 pieces for the three dollar gold, the Mint is recorded as striking 35 proof pieces, delivered on Feb. 16, 1862. The proof mintage is considerably less than for the previous two years--119 pieces in 1860 and 113 pieces in 1861--reflecting a lack of demand for the coins. Most survivors are in high grades, with good cameo contrast. The proof die from 1861 was reused for the 1862 pieces, and accordingly only the tops of the JBL initials on the bust truncation are visible, the result of die polishing. The Bowers three dollar gold reference says some of the proofs have high wire rims; this appears to be such a coin, from what is observable through the PCGS encapsulation.
The present coin, as expected, shows the much-desired black-on-gold coloration and thick mint frost of deep cameo proof gold. Extensive scrutiny with a loupe reveals only a few light hairlines in the left obverse field. Despite their undistracting presence, this coin's chief characteristic is its enormous eye appeal, a combination of the deeply frosted devices and brilliant fields, a bold strike, and a near-total absence of contact marks or even small pedigree identifiers. Lovely and nearly unimprovable, since only a single example, a PR66 Ultra Cameo at NGC, is graded finer. Population: 2 in 65 Deep Cameo, 0 finer (12/06).
From The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28A2, PCGS# 98025)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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