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    1861 Five Dollar, PR64 Cameo
    Only Three or Four Known in Private Hands

    1861 $5 PR64 Cameo NGC. The official mintage of 66 proofs is probably accurate for the 1861 half eagle. However, like other denominations struck from 1859 through 1861, an unknown number were melted. In fact, Breen records "At least 10 proofs melted Jan. 1862 as unsold." From the lack of survivors today, it would appear there many more were melted later in the year. When one investigates the auction appearances of the 1861, it is remarkable how many major collections have lacked an example.

    It is probable that only three or four pieces are in private collections of this rarity: The Eliasberg/Trompeter coin that is graded PR66 Cameo and held in a private collection, the ex: Amon Carter coin (grade unknown), a PCGS PR63 that is probably the same as the Floyd Starr (Stack's, 10/92) example, and this coin. To these pieces, the Smithsonian and ANS coins may be added but these are, of course, not available. This is certainly the only 1861 proof five on the market today.

    The rich orange-gold surfaces are lightly hairlined (the viewer will need a magnifier, though). The fields are exceptionally deep in their mirrored reflectivity and the devices show a strong presence of mint frost that gives the coin its cameo contrast. The only marks of any note are a short scratch above the eye of Liberty, and another shallow one on the chin. This is a major opportunity for the specialist in 19th century gold, and it is obviously a rare chance to add this date to a run of early proof fives.
    Ex: Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2453.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 3ZGF, PCGS# 88451)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 365

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