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    Desirable Six-Piece 1898 Proof Set
    Outstanding Quarter and Dollar

    Six-Piece 1898 Proof Set NGC. The proof coins of 1898 are among the best produced issues prior to the start of the modern proof series in 1936. These pieces typically show deeply mirrored fields and razor-sharp definition, along with outstanding cameo contrast. For the collector who desires coins of the utmost quality, an 1898 proof set would be an excellent choice.
    While the dime, quarter, and half dollar had received a new design in 1892, the other issues had been passed over. The "V" nickel design had been issued since 1883, the Morgan dollar since 1878, and the Indian Head cent since 1859 (save for a few minor changes). Only the cent had been in circulation for more than the congressionally mandated 25 years, so none of the other denominations could legally be changed without an Act of Congress. Nonetheless, there were persistent calls for a revitalization of American coinage.
    In 1898 a member of the Congressional Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures remarked, "The designs on some of our coins are not artistic or beautiful. On some the significance and appropriateness of the design has been destroyed in an unsuccessful effort to improve its appearance. On most of them there is too much work, the devices are too elaborate and the effort for artistic effect is overdone ... It is submitted as proper that the Secretary of the Treasury should have the authority to seek new and more attractive designs for our coins, but not to be adopted until first submitted to Congress for its approval." Despite this recommendation, the designs would remain until Theodore Roosevelt became obsessed with the idea several years later. The Barber coins would continue to circulate until their eventual replacement in 1916.

    Cent PR65 Red and Brown. Both sides show a blend of pale copper-gold and mint-green color. The devices are boldly impressed, and the fields exhibit a level of reflectivity not often associated with Red and Brown specimens. Indisputably Gem-level eye appeal.

    Nickel PR65. Boldly struck and attractive, a proof with watery reflectivity beneath delicate patina, lavender on the obverse with outer green-gold and inner blue on the reverse.

    Dime PR62. Strongly reflective with a modicum of contrast. Pearl-gray centers give way to green-gold and orange toning at parts of the margins. The obverse appears clean for the PR62 designation, though a number of hairlines are visible within the reverse wreath.

    Quarter PR68 Cameo. Exquisitely preserved with gorgeous toning, translucent champagne and peach-gold over most of the centers with blue and violet peripheral shadings that are more overt on the reverse. Each side is impressively contrasted through the patina. Census: 9 in 68 Cameo, 2 finer (11/09).

    Half Dollar PR63. Both sides show definite contrast, though the blue and gray shadings over the obverse dampen the cameo effect just enough to preclude a designation. On the reverse, where the toning is lighter, the fields display wonderful reflectivity.

    Morgan Dollar PR66 ★ Ultra Cameo. A stunning Premium Gem that exemplifies all the possibilities for the issue. The razor-sharp devices are thickly frosted and the near-brilliant mirrors gleam beautifully. Only a few hints of gold and gray appear close to the rims. Among Star-designated Ultra Cameo pieces, this is the sole PR66 certified by NGC with four finer (11/09).
    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
    Page Views: 1,931

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