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    Description

    Delightful 1893 Silver-Minor Proof Set

    1893 6-Piece Proof Set NGC. The second year of a series is often scarcer than the first because the novelty of the design has since worn off and fewer examples were saved by collectors. This was the case with the Barber coins, and proof mintages dropped precipitously in 1893. Only 2,195 proof cents and nickels were struck, compared to 2,745 specimens the previous year, and just 792 proof dimes, quarters, halves, and dollars were issued, as opposed to 1,245 examples in 1892.
    The 1893 Morgan dollar had a relatively low business strike mintage of 378,000 pieces and prior to the 1950s this issue was considered to be very rare. Consequently, proofs were especially desirable and virtually all of the original sets were broken up by collectors seeking just the dollar. Although the dollar is no longer considered as rare as it once was, there is still significant demand for proof examples.
    In 1893 the Philadelphia Mint installed a hydraulic press to strike proofs, which replaced the antiquated screw press that was still used at the Mint to strike medals and most proofs. Regular issues, however, had been struck on a steam press beginning in 1836. Nonetheless, there does not seem to be any difference in appearance between the proofs struck on a screw press versus those struck on a hydraulic press. By slowly squeezing the two dies together on the hydraulic press, as opposed to the rapid striking of regular issues, the Mint was able to impart razor-sharp definition on virtually every proof struck. This method of production remains essentially the same well over a century later.

    1893 One Cent PR65 Red and Brown.
    Proof cents of 1893 in the Gem level of preservation are very scarce in all three color designations. Crimson and gold-orange dominate the obverse of this Red and Brown Gem accented with wisps of mint-green and sky-blue, while the same color scheme assumes deeper shades on the reverse. A well directed strike leaves strong definition on the design elements except for minor softness on the first couple of feathers. Well preserved surfaces reveal no marks or spots worthy of mention. Census: 38 in 65 Red and Brown, 7 finer (11/09).

    1893 Nickel PR64 Cameo.
    Walter Breen (1977) lists three 1893 proof nickel varieties. The specimen in this set features a repunched 1 in the date, of which Breen in his 1988 Complete Encyclopedia says: "Very rare. Comprises only a tiny minority of proofs."
    An occasional whisper of light tan color visits the obverse of this near-Gem and a well executed strike delivers bold definition to the design features, including the hair over Liberty ear and the intricacies of the wreath elements. Both sides display pleasing Cameo contrast. A few small marks are visible on the obverse.

    1893 Dime PR65 Cameo.
    Stunning field-motif contrast is evident on both sides of this Gem Cameo that becomes even more pronounced when the coin is turned just slightly under a light source. Delicate cobalt-blue and beige-gold on the obverse cede to slightly deeper shades on the reverse, though neither palette interferes with the reflectivity in the fields. The design elements are moderately frosted and sharply defined. These attributes, when combined the blemish-free surfaces, add up to exemplary eye appeal.

    1893 Quarter Dollar PR66.
    Aqua-blue, lavender, and golden-brown gravitate to the obverse borders while a medley of sky-blue, reddish-gold, and beige-gold traverses the reverse. The obverse displays nice field-device contrast and all design features exhibit full delineation. A light graze is noted on Liberty's cheek as are a couple of hair-thin marks. Census: 53 in 66, 33 finer (11/09).

    1893 Half Dollar PR66.
    A mix of cobalt-blue, reddish-gold, lavender, beige, and white-gold patination on the obverse cedes to soft reddish-gold with blue-gray accents on the reverse. The design elements exhibit sharp details except for the often seen softness in the upper right corner of the shield. A degree of field-device contrast is more noticeable on the obverse. Well preserved throughout. Census: 29 in 66, 19 finer (11/09).

    1893 One Dollar PR67.
    This Superb Gem Morgan dollar proof displays absolutely stunning eye appeal resulting from a combination of the following factors: spectacular patination consisting of delicate lavender and sky-blue on the obverse that takes on deeper hues of this color palette on the reverse; excellent field-motif contrast that is more noticeable on the obverse; and immaculately preserved surfaces. The centers exhibit a weak strike, however, as always seen on 1892 and 1893 proof dollars (David Bowers, 1993, p. 2516). Census: 17 in 67, 7 finer (11/09).
    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: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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