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    Engaging 1894 NGC Certified Proof Set
    Cent through Dollar

    1894 Six-Piece Proof Set NGC. Due to the scarcity of the 1894 dollar in business strike format (only 110,000 pieces were minted), proofs have long brought a premium from date collectors. Walter Breen (1977) also notes that many of these proofs were harshly cleaned. Therefore, despite a decent distribution of 972 silver proof sets, this year can be quite challenging to locate and attractive examples sell for sizeable sums.
    Although not issued as part of any sets, the proof 1894-S dime deserves a special mention. Its story is well known and will not be repeated here, but it is important to note that these pieces are now considered to be proofs. Nonetheless, there is some difference in appearance between the S-Mint dimes and the Philadelphia proofs. Unlike the regular proofs, the 1894-S dimes do not exhibit the same level of sharpness and the fields are less reflective.
    As with most years, nearly all of the original 1894 proof sets were broken up decades ago. Besides the scarce 1894 dollar, many of the other denominations are also conditionally rare as business strikes, placing added demand on the proofs. While proofs are easily located in lower grades as many were improperly handled, the astute collector will realize the importance of a carefully preserved set.

    1894 Cent PR65 Red and Brown. A bold strike is demonstrated through the sharpness of each individual design element on both sides of this lovely Gem proof. Full, deeply mirrored fields and satiny devices create a noticeable contrast, especially on the obverse. Many observers will feel that a Cameo designation should be assigned to this highly attractive and appealing Indian cent. The fields exhibit minor blemishes that prevent an even higher grade. Those most apparent are in the left obverse field, and even they require magnification to observe. Both sides have brilliant orange devices with deeper reddish-orange fields and iridescent toning highlights. NGC Census: 37 in PR65 Red and Brown; 11 finer. NGC has also certified 20 examples in PR65 Red or finer.

    1894 Nickel PR67. The 4 is doubled below its final position. It appears that this Repunched Date is quite a bit rarer than the Normal Date proof. Incredible design definition is evident on both sides of this Superb Gem, with each individual detail sharply impressed. The brilliant obverse and slightly hazy reverse are remarkable, with deeply mirrored fields on both sides. The devices are lustrous and the overall appearance is borderline cameo. Both sides are pristine and mark-free. Subtle champagne toning is barely visible over the brilliant nickel-gray surfaces. NGC Census: 8 in PR67; 2 finer. NGC has also certified five examples as PR67 Cameo.

    1894 Dime PR67. The reverse border shows slight merging of the dentils, indicative of less than a full strike, but all other details are bold and sharp. Highly lustrous, satiny devices are framed by deeply mirrored fields on this Superb Gem. The contrast is equal to the Barber quarter and half dollar in this set, both assigned a Cameo designation. Delicate gold and light blue toning are found near the borders of this otherwise brilliant and untoned Barber dime. NGC Census: 27 in PR67; 9 finer. NGC has also certified 12 examples in PR67 Cameo or finer.

    1894 Quarter PR65 Cameo. Slight weakness is evident along the top edge of each wing on the reverse, but the overall appearance is that of a bold strike. A few trivial marks and lines on Liberty's cheek and neck prevent a higher grade, but the visual presentation clearly supports the Gem grade assigned to this delightful quarter. The fields are fully mirrored and the devices are lustrous with scintillating mint frost. Both sides have pale yellow toning with peripheral rose and sea-green highlights. NGC Census: 13 in PR65 Cameo; 26 finer. NGC has also certified three pieces as PR65 Ultra Cameo or finer.

    1894 Half Dollar PR66 Cameo. Most design elements are boldly details, with some weakness at the junction of the wing and right shield border, a point that is often ill-defined on Barber half dollars, proofs and business strikes. The tiny marks on Liberty's cheek appear to be mint made planchet flakes that have no affect on the grade. Highly lustrous and satiny devices are surrounded by fully mirrored fields. This amazing piece has brilliant silver centers, surrounded by considerable magenta and cobalt-blue closer to the borders. NGC Census: 18 in PR66 Cameo; 13 finer.

    1894 Silver Dollar PR66. Every design feature on both sides of this Premium Gem illustrates the design exactly as George T. Morgan intended. The motifs, lettering, and border are fully defined. Both sides have deeply mirrored fields and satiny devices with at least as much contrast as found on the Cameo designated Barber half dollar in this set. Dark yellow-brown toning accompanies peripheral gold, lilac, and blue on each side, deeper on the reverse.
    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: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,653

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