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Description

PR66 Ultra Cameo 1883 Three Dollar Gold

1883 $3 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC. The first three dollar gold pieces struck in 1883 were proofs rather than business strikes. In The United States $3 Gold Pieces, Q. David Bowers writes of the business strikes that "all 900 were delivered in a single lot on December 15." By contrast, he writes of proofs:

"Deliveries of the 89 pieces from the Medal Department were spaced throughout the year, beginning with 40 on February 10, 13 more before March 31, 11 additional by June 11, 7 more by September, and the final 18 by December 31, an arrangement similar to that employed in 1882."


There is a roughly 10-to-1 ratio of business strikes to proofs in the original mintage figures, an alarmingly small number that indicates just how out-of-use the three dollar gold denomination was at the time. Fortunately for collectors who want to distinguish between worn business strikes and impaired proofs, there is a significant diagnostic: on business strike coins, the ribbon ends on each side of the reverse are together, while on the reverse, the same ribbon ends show clean separation and a bit of mirror between them.
Such a diagnostic, of course, is a mere nicety in the face of the over-the-top proof surfaces offered by this gleaming Premium Gem Ultra Cameo specimen. Pale lemon-yellow fields are intensely mirrored, and the solidly struck central devices boast impeccable frost. An all-around impressive specimen that leaves no doubt as to its desirability. Census: 1 in 66 Ultra Cameo, 2 finer (11/10).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28AS, PCGS# 98047)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
5th-9th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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