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1868 Three Dollar Gold, PR65 Cameo
Second Finest Certified at NGC

1868 $3 PR65 Cameo NGC. The 1868 three is one of the more available dates from the 1860s as a business strike, but in proof format it is exceptionally rare. Only 25 proofs were delivered (on February 20), and it appears this is an accurate number of the coins struck and delivered. This date is full of curiosities in proof format. One is that that the 1868 proof three appears to have been struck in medallic alignment. Of course, no one has seen all examples, and Breen (1977) leaves the matter as: "Dies often though not always aligned 180 degrees from normal."
This medallic alignment is consistent with that seen on many proof Indian cents and gold dollars dated 1868. Another curiosity that was mentioned in older references but seems to have been dropped recently is the apparent presence of a 7 beneath the final 8 in the date. Another interesting feature was present on the Bass coin (and this one): a die crack from the left (facing) leaf the 1 in the date continuing to the O in DOLLARS. Die cracks on proofs are unusual, and it is certainly noteworthy on a date with only 25 pieces produced.
The best estimate of the number of proof survivors is in the range of 14 to 17 pieces. Only 11 pieces have been certified in grades that range from PR50 to PR65. This Gem is the finest certified at both major services. Our records show only eight auction appearances in all grades since 1992, and none have been offered in the past 10 years.
The generally accepted die characteristics for 1868 proof threes include:

--All proofs seen have medallic (180 degrees from normal) orientation. This may not be an absolute, however.
--The Trompeter coin showed extra outlines at the mouth, and also rust marks within the D and R.
--On the reverse the left (facing) leaf is attenuated from excessive die polishing.
--The date is slightly higher in the field than on business strikes and slopes slightly down to the right.
--Microscopic doubling can be seen within the 8s in the date.

The bright, orange-gold surfaces show the expected orange-peel cracking in the fields, and the fields are exceptionally bright in their mirrored reflectivity, with starkly contrasting cameo devices. Only a few wispy hairlines can be found by close examination with a magnifier.
From The Henry Miller Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28A8, PCGS# 88031)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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