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Finest Certified 1869 Three Dollar Gold Proof

1869 $3 PR66 Cameo NGC. The Philadelphia Mint only struck 25 proof three dollar gold pieces in 1869 and not more than half of those pieces survive today. This example is the finest of those that appear in our notes, with only three or four other Gem quality pieces known to us, including the Eliasberg-Trompeter coin, and an example that appeared in our January 1998 FUN auction. The Bass Foundation coin probably also qualifies as a Gem proof, and the Garrett coin may likewise be a Gem specimen. We believe that this piece is the finest known proof of the date. NGC and PCGS have graded a total of 14 proofs, and this example is the only one of those coins to be deemed a PR66 grade.
Both sides of this lovely piece have brilliant light yellow-gold color with excellent contrast between the frosty devices and the deeply mirrored fields. It is a sharply struck piece with full design details on both sides. The fields display the usual watery or wavy appearance that is expected on 19th century gold proof coins. The surfaces are essentially perfect, with no useful pedigree markers. A tiny flake above the F in OF may appear on photographic plates, and a wispy v-shaped hairline in the reverse margin at 4 o'clock may or may not be of any use in plate matching. As auction appearances for proof examples of this date are few and far between, it does not seem that pedigree research should be a difficult task. However, many of the earlier auction catalogs had plates of poor quality, showing few of the features needed to make a positive match. When coins of nearly perfect quality are examined, coins such as this piece, it is difficult to be certain about provenance.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 28A9, PCGS# 88032)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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