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    Seven-Piece 1879 Proof Set
    Complete Save for Quarter

    Seven-Piece 1879 Proof Set NGC. The passage of the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 mandated the Treasury purchase between 2 and 4 million ounces of newly mined silver each month for conversion into coinage. The striking of silver dollars used more silver bullion than the production of smaller denomination coins. As a result, to satisfy the requirements of the Bland-Allison Act the various mints generated enormous numbers of silver dollars which were generally not needed for commercial transactions and ended up in storage, some for decades.
    Consequently, the number of circulation strike quarters and halves produced between 1879 and 1890 is usually between 10,000 and 20,000 pieces. This lack of circulation strikes has led to great confusion over the years between early business strikes from newly polished dies and actual proofs-a problem that persists throughout the decade of the 1880s.
    The actual number of 1879 proof sets struck and sold is unknown, as seen from this passage from Breen's 1988 Complete Encyclopedia: "Internal records of the Mint insist that only 250 proofs [quarters] were coined, but more survive; the older figure of 1,100 proof sets for the year is likely to include interpolated business strikes and/or mixed dates."

    Note: This proof set has seven of the eight minor and silver issues. It does not include the quarter.

    Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Decidedly more Red than Brown, with copper-orange and ruby shadings first and second in prominence. Sufficient quantities of olive and mahogany are present to preclude a fully Red designation. Well-defined overall, if a trifle weak on the diamonds, and pleasingly preserved.

    Three Cent Nickel PR65.
    Elegant sky-blue and powder-blue shadings prevail over much of each side, though the upper obverse also displays a measure of sea-green. Attractively mirrored with appreciable contrast on the obverse, though the reverse falls short of a Cameo designation.

    Five Cent Nickel PR66 Cameo.
    Both sides show toning accents, with golden glints visiting the obverse and small patches of cloud-white floating on the reverse. Appealingly contrasted with impressive fields and strongly struck devices that stand out despite a general lack of frost.

    Dime PR64 Cameo.
    Lightly gold-toned in the same manner as the nickel, but with a silver-white base instead of nickel-white. A small spot is noted just above Liberty's left (facing) elbow, and the fields show minor hairlines and contact. Still, a highly appealing specimen for the grade.

    Quarter not included.

    Half Dollar PR62. Struck from heavily polished dies, as shown by the incomplete drapery off Liberty's arm. The surfaces show a few contact marks, including one below Liberty's left (facing) elbow, as well as numerous hairlines. The mirrors and peripheral toning redeem the eye appeal, however, especially the latter, which has shades of blue and gold.

    Morgan Dollar PR66.
    Captivating patina is core to the eye appeal of this exquisite Premium Gem. Rich blue outer bands fade through violet and gold to pale pearl-gray centers. Frost on the inner devices hints at this specimen's past contrast.

    Trade Dollar PR64 Cameo.
    Light silver-gray color overall with streaks of gold on both sides that deepen to orange at parts of the rims. The strongest contrast of any coin in this set, thanks to the intense mirrors and contrasting frost. Small contact marks are visible in the reverse fields.
    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: 1,715

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