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    Complete NGC Certified 1890 Proof Set with Gold

    1890 10-Piece Proof Set NGC.
    The minor proof sets of 1890 contain only the Indian cent and Liberty nickel (as the three cent nickel had been discontinued a year earlier), both produced to the extent of 2,740 pieces. Richard Snow's Indian cent Guide Book makes an interesting comment regarding 1890 proof cents:

    "This date is readily available in most grades except in full red. The number of Proofs minted during the 1890s slides to new lows. Collectors mistakenly equate the more common dates struck for circulation as being common in Proof as well. The truth is that many of the dates in the 1890s and 1900s are very tough to find in gem Proof."

    Breen's Proof Encyclopedia notes that the Liberty nickels of 1890 are "not found with the intractable dullness of 1888-9. The mint must have found another supplier of nickel blanks." The Seated dime, quarter, and half dollar each saw a proof mintage of only 590 pieces. And as before, the Seated dime proof had a plentiful number of business-strike counterparts--which was not at all the case for the Seated quarter or half dollar. Seated quarters struck for circulation would total only 80,000 coins, along with 12,000 Seated halves. Proof Morgan dollars produced in this year again feature slight to moderate contrast, although the strike is a bit better on average than the year before.
    The present proof set also includes the gold proofs, including the quarter eagle, half eagle, eagle, and double eagle. (The gold dollar and three dollar were discontinued by the Act of September 26, 1890, the same Act that discontinued the three cent nickel.) As even many casual numismatists know, proof gold of the 19th century is the crème de la crème of U.S. numismatics, and among the most in-demand types of American coinage. Heritage is proud to offer this complete 10-piece 1890 proof set. To say that we expect fierce bidding for this lot is a considerable understatement.
    The quarter eagle gold proof has a recorded mintage of 93 pieces, and a number of attractive, high-grade examples of the issue survive. Perhaps 35 to 40 survive in all proof grades. Circulation strike quarter eagles were produced to the extent of only 8,720 pieces, so many such pieces show prooflike surfaces. True proofs, as opposed to prooflike business strikes, show the date slanting upward to the right, with the left base of 1 in the date left of center and horizontal die-polishing lines visible in MERIC.
    The proof half eagle, despite a similar mintage recorded at 88 coins, is much more elusive than the quarter eagle. Garrett and Guth (2006) comment that only 20 to 25 coins are known, an estimate that we believe to be fairly accurate. Despite the considerably larger totals of certified coins at NGC and PCGS, we believe there are an inordinate number of duplicates in those figures. Again, due to a small mintage of only 4,240 circulation strikes, many of those coins have prooflike surfaces.
    The eagles of 1890 have a recorded proof mintage of 63 pieces, of which nearly half survive today. Fortunately many of the 1890-dated proof gold coins have pleasing Cameo or Deep/Ultra Cameo surfaces. The double eagle proof mintage is only 55 coins, and we doubt that more than a dozen exist today in high grades from a total population of less than 30 survivors. (Garrett and Guth put the number at 15, including examples in museum collections and permanently off the market.) For many collectors, being able to acquire, hold, and admire this largest denomination of classic proof gold coinage is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
    Do not let this remarkable and memorable opportunity pass you by.

    1890 Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Slight steel-blue and iridescent toning in the fields prevents a Red designation to this beautiful Indian cent. The strike is excellent, the fields fully mirrored, and the devices satiny. Only trivial spots prevent a higher grade. A highly attractive piece with excellent eye appeal. NGC Census: 37 in PR65 Red and Brown; 2 finer (10/09). NGC has also certified one in PR65 Red and Brown Cameo, 11 in PR65 Red, and one in PR66 Red.

    1890 Nickel PR65. A tiny raised projection just above the bust point appears to be the serif from an errant 1, and that feature appears to be previously unpublished. We find no record of any variety of 1890 proof nickel in currently available literature.
    This gorgeous Liberty nickel has pale gold, blue, and salmon toning over moderately reflective mirrors. The devices are lustrous, and faint cameo contrast is present on both sides. Scattered spots on each side are entirely trivial, and have no affect on the grade.

    1890 Dime PR65 Cameo. Fortin-101. Gerry Fortin has identified four different varieties of 1890 Seated dime proofs at his website, The die pair of the present proof was initially used for business strikes, and later for proofs as determined through die state evidence. The rarity of the four proof varieties remains undetermined.
    The present Gem Cameo proof is intriguing, with a blend of cobalt blue, turquoise, and magenta on the obverse. The reverse is apple-green at the center, with a frame of lemon-yellow. Both sides have fully mirrored fields with lustrous devices and excellent cameo contrast that is visible through the toning. NGC Census: 10 in PR65 Cameo; 20 finer (10/09). The finer examples include three high grade Ultra Cameo proofs.

    1890 Quarter PR67. Briggs 3-C, the single proof die combination that Briggs' describes in The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Quarters. A stunning Superb Gem with contrast equal to that of the dime in this set, although the quarter has no designation. Both sides are mostly brilliant silver-white, with delicate gold and magenta toning over the lower obverse, and subtle gold toning on the reverse. The strike is sharp and the surfaces are pristine. NGC Census: 14 in PR67; 3 finer (10/09). In addition, NGC has certified 37 pieces in PR67 Cameo or finer.

    1890 Half Dollar PR65 Ultra Cameo. No varieties are recorded in the Wiley-Bugert Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars, and this piece displays no unusual die characteristics. Every individual die characteristic is boldly defined on this lovely Gem. A few faint hairlines are evident in the fields, preventing a higher grade. This incredible example, with its amazing eye appeal, will easily satisfy the connoisseur. NGC Census: 2 in PR65 Ultra Cameo; 7 finer (10/09).

    1890 Silver Dollar PR67 Cameo. A stunning, sharply struck Superb Gem Cameo proof, this piece is entirely brilliant with white-silver surfaces and subliminal champagne toning on the reverse. The fields are extremely deep and the devices are frosty and lustrous, resulting in a borderline Ultra Cameo example. Both sides have pristine, unblemished surfaces. The NGC census data suggests that quite a number of high grade proofs survive, although it is a certainty that some of the figures represent resubmissions. NGC Census: 13 in PR67 Cameo, 5 finer (10/09). NGC has also certified six PR67 Ultra Cameo or finer examples.

    1890 Quarter Eagle PR65 Cameo. This delightful Gem Cameo proof has yellow-ochre devices and brown-ochre fields, with excellent contrast between the two elements. All of the devices are boldly detailed, and the fields exhibit the watery or wavy appearance usually or always present on proof gold of this era. A faint original haze adheres to both sides. NGC Census: 7 in PR65 Cameo; 3 finer (10/09). NGC has also certified 14 PR65 or finer Ultra Cameo specimens.

    1890 Half Eagle PR65 Cameo. The spaces between the vertical shield stripes are mostly filled with die polishing lines, and show little reflective proof surface. Faint glimmers of pale green toning are evident near the borders. All four proof gold coins in this 1890 set have a nearly identical appearance with frosty yellow devices and fully mirrored brownish-yellow fields. A splash of reddish-orange toning is visible over the letters LI at the top of the coronet. The surfaces are pleasing with few flaws of any type. NGC Census: 6 in PR65 Cameo, 2 finer (10/09). NGC has also certified 14 examples in PR65 or finer Ultra Cameo.

    1890 Eagle PR64 Cameo. A few faint hairlines in the fields separate this piece from Gem quality. However, it retains the same exceptional, hazy and original appearance of the other gold proofs in this set. All four pieces are remarkably well matched, undoubtedly remaining together for a long time and possibly since 1890. Faint green and iridescent toning accompanies the yellow devices and yellow-brown fields. NGC Census: 3 in PR64 Cameo; 3 finer (10/09). NGC has also certified 10 submissions in PR64 or finer Ultra Cameo.

    1890 Double Eagle PR64 Cameo. Like the eagle, the presence of faint hairlines prevent a higher grade. This gorgeous double eagle has exceptional contrast between its frosty and brilliant yellow devices, and brownish-ochre fields. Both sides have fully mirrored and reflective fields that are covered with a faint haze. NGC Census: 3 in PR64 Cameo, 3 finer. The three finer NGC certified pieces are each recorded as PR68 Cameo NGC, suggesting resubmission of a single coin. NGC has also certified five coins in PR65 or finer Ultra Cameo.
    From The Boca Collection, Part One.

    View all of [The Boca Collection, Part I ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 25
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 12,528

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