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    Description

    1911 Proof Set With Highlight
    PR67 Cameo Half Dollar

    1911 Five-Piece Proof Set NGC. Landing as it does between the rapid-fire design changes of the cent in 1909 and the nickel in 1912 and 1913, the year 1911 seems relatively peaceful for the minor copper and nickel proof coinage, and for those two issues, the impression is correct. There is a difference of only eight pieces between the year's proof cents and nickels (1,725 specimens for the former versus 1,733 examples for the latter), and while these figures represent declines from the prior year, they also suggest that no after-year cent-selling shenanigans went on with 1911-dated coins (as seen in 1910).
    Similarly, the initial view of the Barber silver proof issues for the year is not immediately jarring. David Lawrence, in his The Complete Guide to Barber Halves, describes the proof halves of 1911 as "readily available," thanks to high survival and certification rates. His note that the 1911 half dollar's "543 proofs made is third lowest for the series," however, deserves further examination. (While Mr. Lawrence was writing specifically of half dollars, the note is equally applicable to dimes and quarters.)
    It is true that the mintage of 543 proofs for the various silver denominations is third-lowest for the Barber design, albeit not by much; 1908 saw a universal mintage of 545 proofs, for example. While the difference between them is trifling, it is the low mintage itself, rather than any relative comparison, that is significant; in the following four years of proof Barber coinage, two years of slightly elevated production give way to the design's two lowest-mintage dates.

    1911 Cent PR65 Brown. Frankly, for a coin showing as much lemon-gold and pumpkin-orange as this Gem proof does on the obverse, a "Brown" designation is absurd. While the sharply struck reverse has far more muted brown shadings, even it shows faded elements of original color.

    1911 Nickel PR65 Cameo. Pale golden tints enhance the contrast of this outstanding Gem proof, a decidedly Cameo coin with strongly reflective fields. Broadly appealing and without overt hairlines or contact marks, though a single tiny flyspeck is noted on the left foot of the I in AMERICA.

    1911 Dime PR64 Cameo. Only a small minority of the proof 1911 Barber dimes in the NGC Census Report have received a Cameo (or in one case, an Ultra Cameo) designation. This specimen, with its pale aquamarine and mauve shadings over light silver-gray surfaces, is one of the fortunate few. The toning helps the obverse's richly frosted portrait stand out from the adjacent mirrors.

    1911 Quarter PR61. A mildly contrasted specimen with muted mauve and green-gold toning elements over moderate mirrors. A single contact mark is noted close to Liberty's ear, and small scuffs and contact marks on the obverse contribute to the grade.

    1911 Half PR67 Cameo. The issue is readily available in lower and midrange grades, but this is no run-of-the-mill coin; it is a powerfully contrasted Superb Gem with stunning eye appeal and almost unapproachable quality. The thin veil of gold-gray toning that drapes each side does nothing to halt the impressive field-to-device contrast. Census: 5 in 67 Cameo, 1 finer (10/09).
    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: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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