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    Memorable 10-Piece 1868 Proof Set

    10-Piece 1868 Proof Set. Specie payments, first suspended in 1862, remained under suspension in 1868, while paper fractional notes continued to take the place of smaller silver denominations. Contemporary collectors continued to order proof coins during this period, especially in light of the specie suspension that eliminated the option of acquiring business strikes.
    Silver proofs were coined to the extent of 600 pieces during the year, with a few hundred additional minor proof sets available to collectors. Modern estimates of the total proof mintage of minor coins (cent, two cent, three cent nickel, and nickel five cent) usually fall in the range of 750 to 1,000 pieces, probably closer to the latter. In addition to the regular production proof sets, at least five complete proof sets from the cent to the double eagle were coined in aluminum.
    Present-day estimates suggest that approximately half of the proofs minted are still in existence, or about 300 of each silver denomination, and 400 to 500 of each minor coin denomination. Today, survivors across all denominations are apt to be in higher grades than those of a decade earlier, the result of better preservation by collectors and dealers. The quality of strike is usually adequate, although a few coins show slight weakness. Cameo contrast is infrequently seen on any of the proof coins of 1868, although it is more prevalent than on most earlier dates.
    Proof varieties included a minority of Indian cents with the reverse rotated about 170 degrees, at least two doubled date two cent varieties, a majority of Shield nickels with the 68 doubled to the south, and some Seated dimes with a blundered date.

    Cent PR65 Red and Brown PCGS. Rotated reverse. Blue-green overtones grace fiery ruby-orange fields. Crisply detailed and well-preserved with winning visual appeal.

    Two Cent PR64 Red and Brown NGC. The obverse is primarily copper-gold with a few small brown spots, but the reverse shows deeper orange and green hues. Modestly hairlined for the grade assigned.

    Three Cent Silver PR64 NGC. Shining surfaces are awash in blue-green and champagne patina. A sharply struck beauty from a post-Civil War issue associated with a heavily melted and low-mintage business strike edition.

    Three Cent Nickel PR65 NGC. Lightly gold-toned overall with a touch of mint-green on the reverse. A gleaming Gem proof with top-flight eye appeal for the grade.

    Five Cent Nickel PR65 PCGS. Bold lemongrass outer toning gives way to powder-blue and finally to lavender-pink at the centers. Both sides are impressively mirrored beneath the toning. Housed in a green label holder.

    Half Dime PR64 NGC. Like many of its fellows, this half dime offers lovely green-gold toning, this time encompassing most of each side. Mildly contrasted with just a few small hairlines found in the fields.

    Dime PR64 Cameo NGC. Richly frosted central devices have largely resisted the ocean-blue and golden-tan toning found at the peripheral fields. Profoundly reflective beneath the patina and virtually irresistible.

    Quarter PR62 PCGS. Though the fields show substantial evidence of hairlines and contact, the real story of this specimen is its toning. While the reverse shows only gold-gray color, the reverse has a silver-gray center surrounded by arcs of gold-orange and deep blue.

    Half Dollar--Artificial Toning--NGC. Proof. Sharply struck with intense mirrors visible at the central reverse. On the rest of the coin, thick polychrome patina floats on the surfaces.

    Seated Dollar PR62 NGC. A moderately hairlined specimen with understated but elegant patina. Orange-tinged gold-gray peripheral tints visit each side, but while the same color extends across the entire reverse, the obverse shows pale ice-blue toning at its center. Stronger eye appeal than the grade might suggest.
    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
    Page Views: 975

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