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1876 Three Dollar, PR65+ Cameo
One of the Finest Known
Only 45-60 Believed Extant

1876 $3 PR65+ Cameo NGC. Only proofs were struck of the 1876 three dollar, and precious few of those. The official mintage was only 45 pieces, but it appears that more were actually produced but not officially recorded. Harry Bass identified two die states of one die, and another completely different die that he believed were restrikes. This coin appears to come from that second die pairing. However, concerning the restrike status of these coins, the Bowers-Winter reference on the series states: "The use of a rusted obverse die does not seem to indicate that this issue was made later than 1876, as the die could have rusted before that time." There is a subtle difference between the two dies, but it is discernible when pointed out. The difference lies in the placement of the 1 in the date relative to the first L in DOLLAR. On the "originals," the flat part of the 1 is completely under the left serif of the first L. On the so-called restrikes, the 1 is shifted slightly left. Also, Harry noticed the lack of parallel lines near the I in LIBERTY on the obverse.
The often-seen "halo" in the obverse fields is also seen on this piece, this is seen on a number of dates in the proof three dollar series. Slight orange-peel texturing is seen in the fields, an indication that the planchet was placed in an annealing furnace that was too hot for gold, and had not cooled sufficiently from annealing silver, nickel, or copper planchets. The fields show deep reflectivity and the devices are heavily frosted, yielding the pronounced cameo contrast seen on each side. Mint-made die striations are seen on each side, but there are no mentionable post-striking defects on either side. Census: 1 in 65+ Cameo, 1 finer (11/11).(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28AJ, PCGS# 88040)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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Page Views: 486

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