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    Wonderful 1914 Proof Set
    All Coins Gem or Better Quality

    1914 Five-Piece Proof Set NGC. The most memorable feature of the proofs of 1914 is the mintage for the silver proof set; no more than 380 proof sets could have been produced (borrowing the verbiage so particular to Walter Breen) and that figure was the lowest for a year since 1858. While the 1914 proof dimes have a stated mintage of 425 pieces, the quarter and half share the lower figure of 380 coins. Of the three denominations, the half dollar is of special interest because the lowest-mintage proof date in the Barber series coincides with the lowest-mintage business strike date.
    As with other proof dates associated with key-date business strikes, this creates added price pressure on the proofs and also might have induced the break-up of a number of sets in the past. A lesser version of the same effect took place the year before. However, with 627 proof halves minted in 1913, there was a significant supply to absorb the spillover demand from business strike collectors. By contrast, the 380 proofs struck in 1914 (and the 450 proofs struck in 1915) have much less flexibility to meet the needs of those who are not proof specialists.
    Among minor matte proofs, production was close between cents and nickels, with 1,365 specimens for the former and 1,275 pieces for the latter. These mintages continue a trend of decline for the proof nickel and begin one for the cent; the smallest denomination had enjoyed an uptick in 1913, thanks to its pairing with the two first-year varieties of Buffalo nickel proofs, but 1914 saw matte proof mintages come crashing down again.

    1914 Cent PR66 ★ Brown. This spectacularly eye-catching cent specimen leads off the set. The bold magenta, cherry-red, and heather overtones on this matte proof nearly overshadow the light brown base color. Exquisitely detailed and carefully preserved, a winner in every respect.

    1914 Nickel PR65. Subtle gold and pink tints visit otherwise nickel-white surfaces. Neither side shows any faults readily visible to the unaided eye, and this crisply struck Gem proof has outstanding eye appeal for the grade, particularly on the obverse with its original "Fraser" texture.

    1914 Dime PR66. The three Barber silver proofs in this set are remarkably well-matched in appearance. The dime sets the tone, with liquid green-gold peripheral toning around muted lavender-blue centers. Two elongated silvery dots underline the letters AME of AMERICA. Both the portrait and wreath are lightly frosted, lending a touch of contrast to each side.

    1914 Quarter PR66. At first glance, the toning on the quarter is highly similar to that of the dime, but on closer inspection, a few differences emerge. A hint of orange is mixed into the green-gold at the periphery, and the much larger lavender-blue centers show mint-green hues as well. Small splashes of silver color appear at the obverse margins.

    1914 Half PR66. Rounding out the trio of Premium Gems is this impressive half. The obverse shows a clear delineation between the outer green-gold and inner blue shadings, but the reverse shows the former color and peach intermixed. Of the three Barber pieces, the mirrors are perhaps the most impressive on this coin. Wonderful eye appeal.
    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: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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