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    Description

    Eight Piece 1886 Proof Set Including
    Both Indian Cent Varieties

    Eight-Piece 1886 Proof Set. This year, like all the other years from this decade, is notable for low mintage business strikes that drive demand for proofs. Once again the Liberty nickel had an impressively low mintage, this time 3.3 million pieces were struck. This was more than twice as many as the 1885 business strike nickels, but still low enough to place this date in the key category and subject extra date demand on the proofs. The three cent nickel is only available with this date in proof format as there were no circulation strikes produced. Once again, the quarters and halves were low mintage issues as business strikes, each had only 5,000 pieces produced. A new hub was introduced for the Indian cent, and each variant is known as a proof (and represented in this set).
    A record-breaking 4,290 three-coin minor proof sets were struck in 1886, most of which were obviously broken up for the nickel and three cent nickel. Of the four-coin silver proof sets, only 886 sets were produced. Walter Breen states that the silver sets produced in the fourth quarter (261 sets) "went as Christmas presents, that being then an apparently common pattern."

    Cent (Type 1) PR64 Brown NGC. The more accessible of the two proof cent issues for the year, offered here with glimpses of copper-orange at the obverse margins but dusky violet and cinnamon-brown color elsewhere. Sharply struck and decidedly appealing.

    Cent (Type 2) PR66 Brown NGC. Easily the most expensive proof Indian cent issue after 1877, and arguably the most important, though an exact mintage figure is unknown. Though both sides show deep peach, blue, and sienna color overall, the obverse also shows a dramatic, near-vertical streak of copper-gold.

    Three Cent Nickel PR66 Cameo NGC. The last of the proof-only three cent nickel issues, the 1886 was more heavily minted than its two predecessors put together. Still, high-end specimens such as this Cameo Premium Gem are highly prized. Gleaming nickel-white surfaces show just a hint of golden color and a few scattered flyspecks.

    Five Cent Nickel PR66 NGC. Dappled green-gold, baby-blue, and lavender hues drape this charming example. Sharply struck but with a certain level of rotational luster in addition to the reflectivity, which might allow this specimen to better pass as a business strike in an otherwise circulation-finish set.

    Dime PR64 PCGS. Boldly impressed and fantastically mirrored through rich cloud-white toning that takes on glints of gold. Well-defined devices have considerable frost, though the patina dampens this specimen's potential contrast.

    Quarter PR65 Cameo NGC. A charming Gem, largely untoned through the fields with fantastic reflectivity and delightfully contrasting frost over the portrait and eagle. Splashes of umber and violet-gold are visible at parts of the upper rims.

    Half Dollar PR62 NGC. Sharply struck with antique-gold color overall that thickens to khaki-tan and violet at parts of the margins. The moderately hairlined reverse is edged in cobalt-blue.

    Morgan Dollar PR65 NGC. Remarkably strong contrast for a coin not recognized as Cameo. Perhaps the gauzy patina over the obverse fields accounts for this, but even that side has excellent mirrors through the toning, not to mention impressively frosted devices.
    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: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,536

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