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    Important 1910 Proof Set
    With Cameo Dime and Quarter

    1910 Five-Piece Proof Set NGC. Just as the Liberty nickel enjoyed its high mark for 20th century proof production in 1909, the matte proof Lincoln cent took its turn for generous production in 1910, with a mintage in excess of 4,000 specimens. Sources differ on the exact figure; the one listed in the Q. David Bowers reference A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents is 4,083 pieces. Yet significantly fewer Liberty nickel proofs (2,405 examples) were released. Why the discrepancy?
    Bowers cites personal correspondence with coin dealer William L. Pukall. According to Bowers, "The Mint is said to have kept quantities of these [matte proofs] on hand after 1910, eventually selling them to dealers including" Pukall. Around 40% of all matte proof Lincoln cents for the year were sold outside the two-coin minor proof sets, but the exact number that were sold past the year of issue must remain a mystery.
    Following the one-year increase in silver proof set strikings that came in 1909, production settled down again in 1910, to 551 pieces versus a proof mintage of 545 coins for the various silver denominations in 1908. The Barber design had long experienced collector disapproval, but after the Morgan dollar's suspension in 1904, the silver proof set experienced a far more pernicious effect: flat-out indifference. The mid-500s mintage level is a common sight from 1907 on, though the lowest mintages for proof Barber coinage sets would not begin until 1914.

    1910 Cent PR65 Brown. As noted above, the most accessible matte proof Lincoln cent when sought on its own, though its status as part of a set is far more elusive. The present piece has considerable orange for a "Brown" example, particularly on the otherwise mahogany-and-magenta obverse, though the blue-tinged surfaces on the reverse are toned much more deeply with a walnut hue for a base.

    1910 Nickel PR64. Sharply struck with delicate golden tints over otherwise pale nickel-gray surfaces. This mildly contrasted Choice proof shows only a few minor faults in the fields, though these are sufficient to preclude an even finer designation.

    1910 Dime PR65 Cameo. One of only 19 Cameo examples of this issue certified by NGC (10/09), this dime is colorfully toned in addition to its strong contrast. Green-gold, apricot, violet, and blue toning elements converge in the fields, though the frosty portrait has largely resisted patina. Crisply struck and carefully preserved.

    1910 Quarter PR64 Cameo. This coin's outstanding contrast is key to its winning eye appeal. The thickly frosted portrait stands out from the deep mirrors almost to an Ultra Cameo level, and if the reverse contrast were stronger, this coin could well have received such a designation. The strong yellow toning elements on the obverse carry over to the reverse, which also shows splashes of blue.

    1910 Half PR66. While not as strongly contrasted as either of its Cameo counterparts in the set, this Premium Gem proof half still shows a mild version of the effect, particularly on the obverse. Small splashes of cloud-gray toning visit the intense mirrors, and the upper obverse rim shows a hint of blue.
    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: 1,038

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