1876 $3 PR64 PCGS....
Wonderful Choice Proof 1876 Three Dollar1876 $3 PR64 PCGS. This popular proof-only issue has been the center of considerable confusion regarding both its original mintage and the number of survivors. Q. David Bowers and Doug Winter, in their The United States $3 Gold Pieces, note that the Mint Report claims 45 pieces were struck, with 20 specimens delivered in February of that year and 25 coins in June. They also estimate that another 20 to 30 proofs were struck but not listed in the Mint Report, and that the stated 45 pieces is closer to a low estimate on the number of survivors in all grades.
Such restrikes would be unsurprising, especially since the other proof-only issue in the series, the 1875, also had a substantial number of unreported pieces, to the extent that verifiable specimens outnumber the official mintage. More intriguing is that David Akers, in reviewing the series, considered the 1876 proof three dollar gold issue to be on nearly the same plane of rarity as its more famous 1875 counterpart. While the advent of certified data has restored the respective statuses of the two issues somewhat (submission events for the 1876 outnumber those for 1875 by roughly three-to-one), the 1876 remains underrated in general, yet immensely popular with series enthusiasts.
The proofs of 1876 circulate through the numismatic marketplace with greater frequency than other, non-proof-only issues; this allows the prospective buyer to observe a number of pieces and choose a specimen with care. The present lot will end the search for one fortunate bidder. Its deep orange-gold mirrors show only occasional hazy elements, and the definition on the portrait is razor-sharp. Excellent preservation overall with only a handful of scattered hairlines in the fields. Population: 17 in 64, 6 finer (6/08).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28AJ, PCGS# 8040)
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