1876 $3 PR63 PCGS....
Select Proof 1876 Three Dollar Gold1876 $3 PR63 PCGS. Between 1874 and 1878, the two most famous years for three dollar gold type coins, production of the denomination was all but nonexistent. The 1,468 business strikes made in 1877 were the only such pieces between the two bookend years. In 1875 and 1876, only proofs were struck, and these two dates are among the most popular and sought-after dates in the series, as well as the most challenging.
In the case of the 1876 issue, the Mint Report lists production of just 45 specimens, though in the Bowers-Winter reference The United States $3 Gold Pieces 1854 - 1889, the authors suggest that at least a few more were struck. Garrett and Guth, in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, take this premise a step further and assert that this second, unrecorded run of proofs was struck with a different obverse die from the first. In practice, few collectors focus on such concerns, preferring simply to acquire an attractive example as a capstone to a set.
This Select proof, housed in a first-generation holder, has appreciable contrast that might qualify it for a Cameo designation today. Yellow-gold mirrors show scattered cloudiness, but the overall eye appeal is strong. A long, thin contact in the upper hair is the most important contributor to the grade assigned, though it is also well-hidden and easily missed on casual inspection. In sum, this is a specimen that has great potential to reward the winning bidder.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28AJ, PCGS# 8040)
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