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Boldly Struck and Contrasted
1886 Three Dollar, PR66 Cameo
Sole Finest at PCGS

1886 $3 PR66 Cameo PCGS. CAC. The number of proofs produced in the waning few years of the three dollar gold series actually saw an uptick, into the low hundreds except for the 1888, at 291 proofs the largest mintage of the entire series. While 1886 saw 142 proofs manufactured, however, the number of circulation strikes made was only 1,000, the same recorded quantity as in 1884. In 1887 through 1889, the business strikes finally saw a similar upturn, with 6,000; 5,000; and 2,300 pieces made, respectively.
Bowers puts the 1886 issue in an interesting perspective in his series reference:

"The rarity of choice Mint State 1886 threes is so extreme that Proofs seem common in comparison! For the specialist, here indeed is a rarity of the first order -- a landmark among $3 coins of later dates, For a long period of time most collectors have had to satisfy themselves with circulated coins or Proofs. A listing of early auctions featuring Mint State coins could be made on one side of a small piece of scrap paper without using all of the space.
"The typical circulated 1886 is in AU grade and of fairly attractive appearance. Mint State coins as presently interpreted are mostly at lower levels. Truly choice and gem coins are almost impossible to find.
"Proofs were made in the largest quantity to date in the series and are therefore easy enough to find, with market appearances being fairly frequent. Of course, all of this is relative, and it might be worth mentioning that a Proof 1886 $3 is at least six or seven times rarer than a Proof 1895 Morgan dollar ... ."

Deep reddish-gold patina in the fields and bold reflectivity sets up excellent contrast with the frosted, lighter gold-colored devices on this splendid Premium Gem Cameo proof, the sole such at PCGS and tied with five other submissions at NGC (11/11). Interestingly, this piece is also tied for numerically finest with one PR66 and one PR66 Deep Cameo at PCGS.) The strike is boldly impressed throughout, save for trivial softness on the bowknot.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28AV, PCGS# 88050)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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