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    Description

    Appealing 1903 Proof Set Featuring
    Superb Gem Half Dollar

    1903 Six-Piece Proof Set NGC. The 1903 proof set is the next-to-last containing a Morgan dollar, along with the five small-denomination coins from cent through half dollar. The generally accepted mintage for the minor coinage sets including the Indian cent and Liberty nickel is 1,790 sets, with 755 for the four-coin silver sets. As in 1902, most of the denominations have little to no field-device contrast. In fact, concerning the 1903 proof Morgan dollars, Q. David Bowers' Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars contributes this: "Medium to subpar strike plus no cameo contrast. The portraits and certain other recessed parts of the die were polished--what student of the series Michael Fuljenz calls 'the chrome look.' "
    In other denominations, the small proof production of 755 each of the Barber coins (a mintage also shared by the Morgan dollar) is in stark contrast to the business strike coinages in Philadelphia for the years, which, relative to their respective series, were at abundant if not record levels. Walter Breen notes that the 1903 Liberty nickel is occasionally found with the reverse oriented 180 degrees from normal rotation, i.e. in medal turn rather than coin turn.

    1903 Cent PR64 Red and Brown. The copper-orange color on the obverse remains fresh, but the reverse has mellowed just enough, most noticeably in a violet arc along the inner wreath, to preclude a fully Red designation. Strong striking definition with only a handful of minor hairlines and flyspecks.

    1903 Nickel PR65 Cameo. Though the Mint procedures for striking proof coinage greatly reduced the likelihood of any one coin being a Cameo, such pieces were still produced, as this boldly contrasted Gem amply demonstrates. Lemongrass toning drapes each side, with that of the reverse slightly lighter. The broad mirrors are free of overt flaws.

    1903 Dime PR60. Gold, orange, and umber peripheral elements give way to near-brilliant centers. While the obverse shows a number of hairlines as well as potential slide marks on the cheek, the reverse is comparatively clean. Overall, an attractive coin by PR60 standards.

    1903 Quarter PR66 Cameo. A rewarding Premium Gem that sports rich frost across the portrait of Liberty and the eagle, with a small hollow below the ear the only point on the devices showing readily perceptible brilliance. Both sides show a light champagne-gold cast, with the obverse's toning slightly more intense. Carefully preserved beneath the patina and thoroughly attractive. Census: 13 in 66 Cameo, 20 finer (10/09).

    1903 Half PR67. Highly appealing with significant contrast for a coin not designated as a Cameo. Glimpses of golden peripheral toning frame nearly unpatinated centers. With its sharp strike and potent mirrors, this Superb Gem specimen has all the ingredients for undeniable eye appeal. Census: 18 in 67, 3 finer (10/09).

    1903 Dollar PR63. The well-defined devices on each side are of distinctly different texture from the gleaming fields, though this difference does not add up to clearly defined contrast. Dappled gold and blue-gray toning elements scarcely impede this Select dollar's natural reflectivity. Light, scattered hairlines account for the grade.
    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: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,145

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