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    Description

    Charming Seven-Piece 1884 Proof Set
    Featuring a PR66
    Half

    1884 Seven-Piece Proof Set NGC. As the mints continued to churn out silver dollars, much-needed quarters and half dollars languished with extremely low mintages. Half dollar production equaled the number struck two years previously with a mere 4,400 coins minted for commercial usage. Quarters were also limited in number with just 8,000 circulation strikes. In each case, only 875 proofs were coined, a number equal to the quantity of silver proof sets of this year. Minor (three-coin) proof sets were struck in considerably larger numbers with a total of 3,942 pieces made of each of the denominations. Those not included in the silver proof sets were sold as minor coin proof sets.
    Because the output of business strike quarters and halves was so low in 1884, date pressure was considerable and most of the silver proof sets were broken up for these two denominations. Early circulation strikes and proofs can be confusing, and diagnostics are not conclusive on the half dollars. It appears that both proofs and business strikes may have been produced from the same dies as each show minute repunching on the base of the 4 and above the base of the 1.

    Cent PR64 Red and Brown. Both sides have intense copper-orange color with only slight evidence of turning, though there is enough violet, olive, and mahogany to warrant a Red and Brown designation. Boldly impressed with a faint fingerprint visible above the headdress.

    Three Cent Nickel PR65.
    Both sides show pale blue patina with an underlying layer of faint nickel-gray. The obverse shows strong contrast between the watery mirrors and the delicately frosted portrait of Liberty, but the reverse falls short of compelling a Cameo designation.

    Nickel PR65.
    Swaths of light gold color also show hints of lemongrass. This Gem proof is well-defined in the centers, though the peripheral stars on the obverse show significant striking softness. Still, a carefully preserved coin beneath the patina.

    Dime PR64.
    An intriguing near-Gem proof that is attractively, if asymmetrically toned. The obverse has a traditional concentric look, with grass-green at parts of the borders that fades through blues into plum and dusky rose shadings. On the reverse, bold sapphire and amethyst jewel-tones are present at the left and right margins. These fade into gold with a hard stop at the brilliant center.

    Quarter PR63.
    The devices show appreciable frost, but only the obverse approaches cameo contrast. That side has a light gold wash overall that deepens into peach-tan and blue-green at the right obverse. The reverse has a broad center in faded baby-blue that yields to green near the rims.

    Half PR66
    . Fantastic toning is key to this Premium Gem proof's eye appeal. On the obverse, an outer band of jade-green leads into a ring of blue surrounding a center that combines violet and gold elements. The reverse has electric-blue peripheral toning surrounding pink and white patina. Carefully preserved and all-around outstanding.

    Morgan Dollar PR65 Cameo.
    This set ends with the Morgan dollar, since the Trade dollars dated 1884 were not included in the year's proof sets (and only 10 were struck, likely well after that year). This distinctly contrasted Gem offers thickly frosted devices that post a stark contrast with the gleam of the fields. Peripheral gold-orange (and on the obverse, also blue) patina highlights the contrast of the nearly untoned centers.
    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: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,243

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