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    Noteworthy 1912 Proof Set With
    Stunning PR67 ★ Cameo Dime

    1912 Five-Piece Proof Set NGC. Walter Breen's Proof Encyclopedia comments tersely on the proof Liberty Head nickels of 1912: "Popular final year of the design; subject to type collector demand and also to some hoarding. Brilliant, of course." All of his listed thoughts warrant further explanation. First, the 1912 does enjoy last-of-its-kind popularity, more so now than at the time, since it is the last proof Liberty Head nickel to be sold in sets. (The infamous 1913 Liberty Head nickels were sold as a set, but that is a completely different topic.)
    Not only did 1912 mark the last year for proof Liberty Head nickels, it also marked the last year for brilliant proof nickels of any design until 1936, since the early years of Buffalo nickel proofs were made in matte format. As for Breen's comment about the date's popularity for type purposes, almost every proof Liberty Head nickel after 1887 can be treated more or less the same in that regard, and the year's mintage of 2,145 proofs is neither wildly high nor abnormally low. Practically the only difference between the 1912 and a 19th century date of similar mintage is that the former is significantly less likely to show cameo contrast.
    In other denominations, proof Lincoln cent production hews closely to that of the nickel, with 2,172 specimens struck for the former. Among the Barber silver denominations, the year's 700 silver proof sets marks a localized high, in that the previous year to top that figure was 1905 and the design would not see so high a mintage again.

    1912 Cent PR64 Brown. Deep brown color with violet and gold undercurrents, muted on the obverse but significantly more prominent on the reverse. Though a few tiny disturbances preclude a finer designation, this coin offers remarkable visual appeal for the grade.

    1912 Nickel PR66. An outstanding Premium Gem that comes close to a Cameo designation. Light golden toning overall with occasional whispers of peach and green. The flashy fields are virtually undimmed by the patina, and the frost on the portrait and wreath remains sparkling. Great surface quality with eye appeal to match.

    1912 Dime PR67 ★ Cameo. NGC has graded just three examples of this issue as PR67 Cameo, with no Cameo coins finer, and of the three, this is one of two to have received the Star designation (10/09). The certified grade, however, merely supplies a number; this Superb Gem's eye appeal speaks for itself. Minimally toned, outstandingly contrasted centers give way to gold-orange peripheral patina that then fades into violet and blue. Fantastic preservation completes this incredible specimen.

    1912 Quarter PR63. Mildly contrasted on each side, though the portrait's frost is too subtle for a Cameo designation. A thin wash of green-gold patina covers much of each side, with a touch of pale blue at the lower right reverse. Broadly reflective fields show a handful of scattered hairlines.

    1912 Half PR63. Light silver-gray toning over each side with subtle rose and gold tints. This Select proof has excellent eye appeal for the grade assigned, though close inspection reveals a number of hairlines, with the most prominent ones in the right obverse field.
    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: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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