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    1895 Liberty Twenty, PR67 Ultra Cameo
    Single-Finest Certified Example
    Ex: Trompeter

    1895 $20 PR67 Ultra Cameo NGC. JD-1, R.6. According to the 1895 Mint Report, the Philadelphia Mint struck a modest mintage of just 51 proof Liberty double eagles that year, a small production total by late-series standards. There is a discrepancy with delivery records, which indicate the coins were delivered in quarterly batches of 9, 9, 6, and 24 pieces, for a total of 48 specimens, so the mintage may have been even smaller. Perhaps the missing three coins were struck, but rejected for some reason. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population at 20-24 examples in all grades, but John Dannreuther offers a more conservative estimate of just 16-20 specimens extant. PCGS and NGC have combined to certify a total of 33 coins between them, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (4/20). Three of the certified examples are impaired proofs. Two coins are included in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another is preserved in the collection of the American Numismatic Society.

    There is also some confusion about the number of dies used to strike the proofs. Die use and destruction documents state one 1895 proof obverse and two reverse dies were destroyed after the end of the year, but analysis of known specimens tentatively indicates at least four reverse dies were employed. John Dannreuther has discovered an 1894-dated document that indicates five 1894 reverse dies were held over for use in 1895 and speculates two of these might have been proof dies. The proofs were delivered quarterly and, as unlikely as it seems, it may be that a different reverse die was employed to strike each delivery. On the other hand, Dannreuther acknowledges the "four" different reverses he has observed may actually represent different die states of the two documented 1895 reverse proof dies. Further research is needed in this area.

    Most proof 1895 double eagles were sold as part of complete gold proof sets and the sets began appearing at auction at least as early as lot 355 of the David S. Wilson Collection (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907), "1895 $20, $10, $5, $2 1/2. Of the $2 1/2 6,119 struck. Complete set. 4pcs." The price realized was $65 to coin dealer John Zug, who just beat out B. Max Mehl for the lot. Nearly all the gold proof sets from this era were broken up long ago and gold proof coins are almost exclusively offered individually today. Proof gold has been a hot item in recent years and prices have risen accordingly. We can find no recent auction appearance of an 1895 double eagle in PR67 Ultra Cameo, but The PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC specimen in lot 4217 of the ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2017) brought $164,500. This finer coin should realize considerably more.

    The present coin is a magnificent Superb Gem proof, the single-finest certified example at either of the leading grading services (4/20). It was once a highlights of the famous Trompeter Collection, the finest and most complete collection of United States proof gold ever assembled. The design elements exhibit razor-sharp definition throughout, with intricate detail on Liberty's hair and the star radials. The impeccably preserved yellow and orange-gold surfaces include deeply mirrored fields that contrast dramatically with the richly frosted devices to create an intense cameo effect. Overall eye appeal is tremendous. This lot represents an extremely important opportunity for series specialists and Registry Set enthusiasts alike. Census: 1 in 67 Ultra Cameo, 0 finer (4/20).
    Ex: Ed Trompeter; Trompeter Estate; part of a large private treaty transaction to Heritage Auctions and Sil DiGenova in 8/1998; private collection.(Registry values: P2)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26EG, PCGS# 99111)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    4th-7th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 28
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,418

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