Six-Piece 1899 Proof Set1899 Six-Piece Proof Set NGC. The low-mintage 1899 dollar was once considered very scarce in business strike format and proof examples were especially desirable. However, due to the great Treasury releases of the 1960s, thousands of Uncirculated examples flooded the market. Proofs are now significantly more elusive than their regular issue counterparts. Nonetheless, the former rarity assigned to the dollar meant that many proof sets were broken up and the dollars are seldom seen as part of a complete set.
Unlike the proof issues from 1896 to 1898, the 1899 can be difficult to locate with full details, cameo contrast, and excellent eye appeal. Although many of the silver proof 1899 issues show minor contrast between the fields and the devices, they seldom come close to matching the appearance of the three previous years. The cents and nickels were typically better produced, but they are often found with tiny blemishes. The proofs of 1899 often demand considerable trade-offs from the would-be collector.
The population data from NGC and PCGS support this conclusion. While the 1899 proofs are plentiful at the PR63 and PR64 level, the number of survivors drops substantially in Gem and finer grades. Only a select few proofs have received a Cameo designation from either service, and these rare pieces are highly desirable. Due to the level of connoisseurship that the date demands, the 1899 proof set is the perfect choice for a value-seeking specialist.
Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Bright copper-orange and lemon-gold are the most prominent colors on this cent, though the obverse also shows green shadings at the right obverse and the reverse exhibits mahogany tints. A sharply struck and highly appealing Gem.
Nickel PR66. Both sides show pale nickel-blue and bolder chartreuse toning, with the former color prevailing on the obverse and the latter more prominent on the reverse. Exactingly struck with moderate mirrors that show the greatest depth of reflectivity to either side of the portrait.
Dime PR66. Splashes of violet and emerald toning supplement the golden patina that covers most of the obverse and the upper left reverse. The lowest part of the latter side shows a degree of contrast, thanks to frostiness on the sharply impressed wreath. The mirrored fields show excellent surface quality.
Quarter PR67. Considerable frostiness is evident on the devices, though the deep blue, green, violet, and gold-orange shadings across each side have precluded the possibility of a Cameo designation. The mirrors remain strong, particularly on the reverse, and the preservation is wonderful.
Half PR65. A starkly beautiful Gem that comes the closest in the set to a Cameo designation, and judging from the well-contrasted obverse, that side alone would have ample credentials for such an honor. Golden-brown and canary-yellow peripheral shadings fade into near-nothingness as they progress toward the center.
Dollar PR64. This amply toned Choice proof has deep violet and dusky lavender toning elements over most of each side, with small cores of lighter color near the centers; that on the obverse is pearl-gray, while the one on the reverse is nearly silver-white. Razor-sharp striking definition with only a few faults that are partly hidden by the toning.
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 ]
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