Finest Graded and Rare 1872 PR 66 Three-Dollar Gold1872 PR 66 NGC. The 1872 three-dollar is yet another issue struck in very limited numbers in both business strikes (2,000 pieces) and proofs (30 pieces). At some point in the early 1870s, there seems to have been a recognition of the difficulty in acquiring uncirculated examples from the previous dozen or so dates in the series, as a greater number of 1872s were saved at or around the time of issue than before. This trend of hoarding this unusual series, of course, only increased and continued until the denomination was abolished in 1889. The greater availability and deceptive prooflike quality of business strikes has resulted in an inordinately high number of "proofs" offered at auction over the past 50 years, even suggesting that the number of proofs may exceed its tiny mintage. In reality, actual proofs from 1872, with the date positioned lower and further to the right than on business strikes, are every bit as rare as the delivery of 30 pieces would suggest, perhaps numbering fewer than 16-18 coins today.
The specimen offered here has never been cleaned or tampered with in any way, being layered on both sides in an irregular, milky patina. We also note a slight doubling on Liberty's profile, not mentioned in any reference on this issue. No doubt a flashier example of the 1872 proof three-dollar exists, but finding one of finer quality would probably prove an impossible task. (NGC ID# 28AC, PCGS# 8035)
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