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    Important Eight-Piece 1877 Proof Set
    Includes Cent, Three Proof-Only Issues

    Eight-Piece 1877 Proof Set NGC. Nationally, the economic crisis that began in 1873 continued through this year, and adversely affected business strike production and sales of proof coins at the Mint. Lack of demand for smaller denomination coinage created several rarities for collectors. The 1877 Indian cent had a sub-million coin mintage, while the nickel three cent piece and the Shield nickel were each only coined in proof format for collectors with an unknown actual mintage. The small or nonexistent mintage of the minor coins was a reflection of the Mint's huge stockpile of such coins.
    Another proof-only denomination was the twenty cent piece, though unlike its three cent and five cent counterparts, it would never again be made for circulation. Unlike most other years, the mintage of silver proofs dated 1877 varied from 350 twenty cent pieces to 880 quarter dollars, but the number of pieces to actually leave the Mint is unknown. While 510 silver proof sets were actually delivered in 1877, according to Breen's Proof Encyclopedia, the number of sets actually dated 1877 is likely lower, with the 350 twenty cent coins providing a guideline.
    In general, proof coins of 1877 and some later years were lower quality than in previous years. Finding high grade pieces and especially examples with cameo contrast can be a challenging endeavor. This set includes three such Cameo selections.

    Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Thanks to the key-date status of this proof issue's associated business strike, demand is unceasing for this date. This Red and Brown Gem specimen is attractive and uncommonly colorful, with bold peach, magenta, and violet-blue shadings evident on each side. The first color prevails on the obverse, while the last dominates the reverse.

    Three Cent Nickel PR64 Cameo.
    The first of three proof-only issues in this set, the 1877 is the most valuable three cent nickel proof in virtually all grades. This Choice coin has subtle but distinct contrast beneath layers of light lavender-pink and gold patina.

    Five Cent Nickel PR65 Cameo.
    Brightly reflective with elements of gray-gold color over otherwise nickel-white surfaces. This proof-only date is the second most challenging proof Shield nickel issue, after the famously low-mintage 1867 With Rays pieces.

    Dime PR63.
    The obverse has broad toning coverage with gold-gray, champagne, and blue-green colors, while the reverse has brighter centers and similar but bolder colors at the upper right periphery. Modestly hairlined for the grade.

    Twenty Cent PR64.
    The first of two proof-only issues to end the denomination and the lowest-mintage proof, at just 350 pieces struck. This piece shows a delightful melange of blue-green and champagne-sunset toning over a gleaming silver-white base, with the color on the reverse slightly deeper.

    Quarter PR64.
    Mildly contrasted but boldly appealing, this near-Gem offers impressive reflectivity beneath a thin veneer of cloud-white and liquid-gold toning. Small hairlines and a few points of contact are scattered in the fields.

    Half Dollar PR65 Cameo.
    Strongly contrasted and beautifully patinated. Outer emerald toning fades through blue and violet into a rose-orange center on the obverse, a pattern repeated on the reverse and continued through gold and silver-white. A fantastic Gem specimen.

    Trade Dollar PR64.
    The light blue-violet patina that appears in patches at parts of the margins becomes dotty as it spreads into the gleaming fields, which are silver-white elsewhere. A small contact mark is noted below star 8 on the obverse.
    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: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,015

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