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    Notable Six-Piece 1892 Proof Set
    First Year of Barber Silver Design

    Six-Piece 1892 Proof Set NGC. After attempts at a competition proved futile, the Mint opted to instead have Charles Barber create a new design to appear on the dime, quarter, and half dollar. The benefits of using Barber were twofold: first, as Chief Engraver he would not receive any additional compensation; secondly, his experience with engraving and minting would ensure that all of the coins would be struck properly. As Mint Director Edward Leech wrote in 1891 to Century Magazine art critic R. W. Gilder, "Artistic design for coins, which would meet the ideas of any art critic like yourself, and artists generally, are not always adapted for practical coinage.... My only object is to improve the appearance of our coins, and if I find that this can be done satisfactorily within the mint service I see no good reason to go beyond it."
    Barber's design was used on the dime, quarter, and half dollar beginning in 1892. Although often criticized as unimaginative and scarcely an improvement over the Seated Liberty design, the Barber coins were excellent from a technical perspective in that they struck up with relative ease. Proofs were issued each year from 1892 to 1915, and only in the first year was the distribution of silver proofs higher than 1,000 specimens.

    Cent PR64 Red and Brown. Copper-gold, mustard, and yellow ochre shadings prevail on this Red and Brown cent. Moderately reflective mirrors and attentively struck devices attest to this specimen's quality, though a few faint hairlines on each side preclude a finer designation.

    Nickel PR65. Pale lavender-blue and canary-gold shadings visit each side of this Gem proof, though in a reversal of this collection's usual pattern, the lavender-blue appears largely at the margins and the canary-gold occupies the centers. Profoundly reflective and undeniably appealing.

    Dime PR67 Cameo. This PR67 Cameo specimen is tied with 13 other Cameo coins for the finest in the category certified by NGC (11/09). Decisively struck, richly frosted devices stand out from the fields, which show watery reflectivity beneath thin layers of gold and orange toning. Considerable silver-white color is also present. Amazing preservation and eye appeal, as demanded of the grade.

    Quarter PR65 Cameo. A thin veil of light cloud-gray toning drapes much of the fields, while pale golden color extends just beyond the rims. The boldly impressed devices are wonderfully frosted, with the eye-catching portrait especially so. Pleasingly preserved for the grade.

    Half Dollar PR64 Cameo. The last of the three Cameo Barber pieces in this set and the most colorful of the three, with blue and mustard-gold color over much of each side, including parts of the devices. Strongly contrasted and immensely reflective through the toning with top-notch eye appeal for the grade.

    Morgan Dollar PR65. A richly toned Gem proof that must have been beautifully contrasted before the gold-gray, dusty-rose, and aqua patina settled over each side. Crisply detailed devices show evidence of their original frostiness, while the fields have strong reflectivity through the toning.
    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: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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