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    Description

    1866 10-Piece Proof Set Featuring
    PR66 Cameo Seated Dollar

    10-Piece 1866 Proof Set. As with 1865, the proof set of 1866 includes the beginning of a denomination that heralds the end of another. With the introduction of the five cent nickel in 1866, the silver half dime, like the three cent silver, faced competition from a base-metal version. The two smallest silver denominations would fall together, massacred in the "Crime of '73," but no other mainstream silver denomination would lose its precious-metal content until 1965.
    The other major change in the minor-silver proof set affects the quarter, half dollar, and Seated dollar. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST, first introduced on the two cent piece in 1864, was mandated on the larger-diameter silver and gold denominations as part of the Act of March 3, 1865, which is better known for authorizing the three cent nickel denomination. The changeover occurred in 1866, the next year. While the five cent nickel was not included in the Act, since it did not yet exist, the Shield design bore the motto from the start.
    Walter Breen's Proof Encyclopedia notes delivery of 725 silver-minor proof sets in 1866, but he also asserts that all but 125 of those sets were delivered prior to the authorization of the five cent nickel. As acknowledged by Breen, the restrike caveat applies: the 2010 edition of the Guide Book claims a mintage of 600+, and certified population data for the 1866 issue are similar to other, slightly later issues. Still, the 1866 remains one of the most expensive proof Shield nickels.

    Cent--Altered Color--NGC. Proof. Sharply struck with readily appreciable mirrors. At first glance, this coin appears Red and Brown, more the former with copper-orange surfaces showing just a few hints of mahogany and mint-green, but closer inspection raises questions about the color's originality.

    Two Cent PR64 Red ANACS. Crisply detailed with strong mirrors. Light copper color on the obverse gives way to deep orange over much of the reverse. Sharply struck with a few flecks on the obverse.

    Three Cent Silver PR63 Cameo NGC. Light silver-gray with echoes of golden color over the obverse fields and at parts of the reverse margins. Modestly hairlined but pleasingly contrasted.

    Three Cent Nickel PR66 Cameo NGC. Excellent contrast with just a hint of toning, white-on-white. Flashy mirrors are carefully preserved. All things considered, an extraordinary specimen. Census: 10 in 66 Cameo, 1 finer (11/09).

    Five Cent Nickel PR65 NGC. The first-year issue in the set and a definite prize. While the obverse shows considerable contrast between the canary-yellow mirrors and the nickel-gray frost on the devices, the toning on the reverse is more comprehensive and also contains light blue elements.

    Half Dime PR63 NGC. Bold gold, orange, green, and silver-white elements appear over different parts of this Select proof. Impressively detailed with mild contrast and scattered hairlines beneath the toning.

    Dime PR65 NGC. A richly toned Gem proof with cerulean and azure peripheral tints yielding to rose and sunset-orange at the centers. The latter color covers significantly more area on the obverse. Light green tints also visit the rims.

    Quarter (With Motto) PR64 Cameo NGC. A captivating coin with considerable contrast, edged in blue-violet and champagne with a quick fade to silver-white. Excellent frost-and-mirrors with only a few hairlines of any significance.

    Half Dollar (With Motto) PR63 Cameo NGC. Impressively contrasted through considerable patina, light gold-gray at the centers that shifts to orange and lavender close to the rims. Faintly hairlined with a fingerprint visible in the right obverse field.

    Seated Dollar (With Motto) PR66 Cameo NGC. This Premium Gem is the jewel of the set, thickly frosted on the devices with outstanding core white-on-white contrast. At the margins, amber, sunset-orange, and ocean-blue toning takes hold. Breathtaking eye appeal. Census: 4 in 66 Cameo, 4 finer (11/09).
    From The Boca Collection, Part One.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Boca Collection, Part I ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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