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    Description

    Impressive Eight-Piece 1880 Proof Set
    Featuring PR67 Cameo Morgan Dollar

    Eight-Piece 1880 Proof Set NGC. Silver dollar mintages remained high in 1880, and consequently the production of quarters and halves for circulation remained low. Proof sets were available from the Mint in several combinations. Minor sets were offered of the cent, three cent nickel, and nickel, with 2,600 of these sets sold outside the silver proof sets. Many of these minor coin proof sets were broken up for the nickel as the Shield nickel reached a series-low of 16,000 pieces in 1880, thus placing strong date pressure on the proofs of this date. Silver proof sets included a dime, quarter, half, Morgan dollar, and Trade dollar, and 1,355 of these sets were sold. Of course, gold sets were available also, but only 20 sets were coined.
    In 1879 and 1880 there was a brief flurry of interest in speculating in proof Trade dollars. In June of this year Trade dollars were offered for retail sale for $2 apiece, while other proof sets were still available from the Mint at issued prices. This increased demand accounts for the significantly higher mintage of 1880 Trade dollars (1987 pieces), which was a series high, compared to 1,355 proofs of the Morgan design. This increase in collector and investor interest was commented on in Mason's Coin Collectors' Herald: "Some idea of the extensive interest taken in the collection of coins and medals may be gathered from the fact that in the year 1880 there were thirty-seven sales of coin collections in the city of New York alone. The total value of the sales was about $50,000. When to this is added the sales by regular dealers the total value of the sales of coins and medals foots up $100,000 a year."

    Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Both sides show an appealing mixture of olive-brown, mahogany, and dusky copper-orange. A strongly struck and attractive Gem specimen.

    Three Cent Nickel PR66 Cameo. Pale golden tints accent the otherwise nickel-white fields. The devices are snowy, which sets up excellent contrast with the fields. From heavily polished dies, as evidenced by the lapping on the reverse ribbon.

    Five Cent Nickel PR66. Canary-yellow and nickel-gray shadings combine on this shining Premium Gem. Above-average definition and preservation translate into powerful eye appeal.

    Dime PR62. Boldly struck and richly toned. Outer sea-green color cedes to a mixture of blue and violet on each side. A number of scattered hairlines in the fields preclude Select status.

    Quarter PR65 Cameo. First in a series of four silver pieces with amazing contrast. Light golden tints over otherwise silver-white surfaces add color to the piece, though a few splashes of milky patina are also present. The devices are beautifully frosted.

    Half Dollar PR65 Cameo. More colorful but no less contrasted than its Cameo fellows, this piece has blue, violet, and gold outer toning around minimally patinated centers. Exquisitely frosted devices offer impressive design definition.

    Morgan Dollar PR67 Cameo. The star of the set, without question. The obverse contrast borders on black-and-white, and that of the reverse is nearly its equal. Gleaming mirrors are untoned save for a few small dots of milky toning that are generally unobtrusive. A stunning Superb Gem.

    Trade Dollar PR63 Cameo. Both sides offer an impressive cameo effect with minimal toning visible. The reverse shows a long, thin line in the lower right field that contributes to the grade assigned.
    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: 1,560

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