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    1875 Liberty Half Eagle, PR65 Cameo
    Low Mintage, Major 19th Century Rarity
    Eight to 10 Proofs Extant

    1875 $5 PR65 Cameo PCGS. JD-1, Low R.7. The 1875 half eagle is a rarity of the highest order, though it does not get the credit it fully deserves outside of specialist circles. The total mintage for the year, including proofs and circulation strikes, was just 220 coins -- 20 of the former and 200 of the latter. The production of 200 circulation strikes ranks among the lowest mintages for any United States regular issue. Only eight survivors are confirmed (the most recent discovery came in 2019).

    Proof 1875 Liberty Head five dollar gold pieces are nearly as rare as their made-for-circulation counterparts. Of the 20 specimens manufactured for sale to collectors, John Dannreuther estimates just eight to 10 examples extant. He writes: "Most examples of the 1875 half eagle in Proof are not impaired, as collectors would have been loath to spend such a rare date. Numismatists would have been aware of the rarity and could sell them for over face value soon after they were issued." Indeed, the eight submissions at PCGS are graded as follows: one PR64, one PR65, three PR64 Cameo, two PR65 Cameo (including this coin), and one PR65 Deep Cameo. NGC reports one circulated proof (XF45), one PR64, two PR64 Cameo, and one PR65 Cameo, also reflecting a tight range between PR64 and PR65 (4/21). There are likely duplications among these figures.

    This particular Gem Cameo representative falls at the upper end of the spectrum among surviving 1875 proof half eagles. It ranks second on John Dannreuther's list of significant examples and appears to take the same place on the Condition Census for certified coins at PCGS and NGC. To boot, it enjoys an impressive pedigree that can be traced back to the famous Lorin G. Parmelee Collection. Rarity, provenance, condition -- this Gem has it all. Textured orange-gold surfaces exhibit tremendous field-device contrast and reflectivity. Technical quality and eye appeal are phenomenal and essentially unsurpassed.
    Ex: Lorin G. Parmelee Collection (New York Coin and Stamp, 6/1890), lot 1397; Byron Reed; City of Omaha; Durham Western Heritage Museum; Byron Reed Collection (Spink-Christie's, 10/1996), lot 174; Morrison-Licht Collections (Stack's, 3/2005), lot 1968; 70th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2005), lot 1246; Kupersmith Once in a Lifetime Collection (Stack's, 11/2010), lot 5042.(Registry values: P8)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28CC, PCGS# 88470)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    17th-20th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 48
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,748

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