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    Popular 1913 Proof Set Containing
    Type One and Type Two Nickels

    1913 Six-Piece Proof Set NGC. Beginning in 1913, the two-coin minor proof set turned into an all-matte affair, as the James Earle Fraser-designed Buffalo nickel replaced the Liberty Head motifs. Like the Lincoln cent (and the Saint-Gaudens and Pratt gold designs) before it, the Buffalo nickel was not designed with brilliant proofs in mind, and a matte technique was used instead. The matte proofs proved unpopular, and mintages steadily deteriorated from 1913 to 1916.
    The two varieties of Buffalo nickel struck in 1913, the Type One with the bison on raised ground and the Type Two with the same bison on flat ground, are also reflected in the year's matte proofs. Mintages for Type One and Type Two proofs are close (1,520 specimens for the former versus 1,514 pieces for the latter), though the Type One is in greater demand since it is the only proof issue bearing its particular design. The year's minor proofs must have been sold virtually exclusively as two-coin sets both before and after the design change, as suggested by the cent and nickel proof mintages; while the two nickel varieties together sum up to a little over 3,000 pieces, there were just under 3,000 proof Lincoln cents coined.
    Unlike many prior years, the mintages of silver proof dimes, quarters, and halves in 1913 do not match one another. The dime has a listed mintage of 622 pieces, with 613 quarters and 627 halves rounding out the stated figures. The lowest-mintage quarter denomination, which creates the cap of 613 possible silver proof sets, enjoys an additional popularity boost thanks to a mintage of fewer than half a million circulation strikes, the lowest for any Philadelphia Barber quarter issue.

    1913 Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Both sides show a luxurious blend of orange and coffee-brown color, and the surfaces are smoothly satiny. Exactingly struck with just a couple of minor flyspecks visible in the obverse fields. Census: 48 in 65 Red and Brown, 28 finer (10/09).

    1913 Type 1 Nickel PR65. Light nickel-blue color overall with arcs of pale peach-champagne gracing parts of the rims. This Gem specimen, with its rugged definition and exquisitely textured surfaces, bears a striking resemblance to Fraser's initial ideal for the Buffalo nickel.

    1913 Type 2 Nickel PR67. An exquisitely detailed representative of the modified Buffalo nickel type with reworked reverse. Pale sky-blue patina drapes most of the obverse, while the apricot accents on that side blossom into full-on coverage on the reverse. Outstanding preservation and visual appeal. Census: 38 in 67, 5 finer (10/09).

    1913 Dime PR64 Cameo. Distinctly contrasted, an unusual state for the later years of proof Barber coinage. The devices are attractively frosted, particularly the portrait. Light silver and gold-gray color on each side with occasional dots of deeper toning at the rims. Census: 5 in 64 Cameo, 12 finer (10/09).

    1913 Quarter PR66 Cameo. Strongly contrasted like the dime, with the effect amplified by deep blue-green toning that drapes much of the mirrors but leaves most of the frosted devices untouched. Along with the Type 2 nickel, a showcase coin in the set. Census: 7 in 66 Cameo, 11 finer (10/09).

    1913 Half PR65. Both sides are immensely reflective, though contrast is minimal. Liquid gold-orange luster across each side shows glimpses of aquamarine at the margins. A decisively struck Gem.
    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: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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