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    1891 Liberty Half Eagle, PR66 Deep Cameo
    Only 53 Examples Struck
    CAC Approved

    1891 $5 PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. JD-1, High R.5. The mintage of proof Liberty half eagles fell to just 53 pieces in 1891, a significant drop from the 88 specimens struck the year before. A single die pair was used to strike the proofs. The obverse die has the date positioned higher and further right than on the die used for business strikes. The reverse die displays distinctive die polish at the bottom of the clear stripes of the shield and a reflective polished area under WE in the motto, making it easy to differentiate between proofs and prooflike business strikes. The issue has a good survival rate and John Dannreuther estimates the surviving population at 25 to 35 examples in all grades.

    Most proof half eagles of this era were initially sold as part of complete proof sets, as wealthy collectors preferred to update their gold collections by purchasing a proof set from the Philadelphia Mint every year. In the case of the 1891 proofs, the sets were soon broken up by dealers and collectors who targeted the low-mintage double eagle (only 52 proofs and 1,390 business strikes were struck). A partial set appeared as early as lot 1256 of the Peter Mougey Collection (Thomas Elder, 9/1910), "1891. $10, $5, $2 1/2. Rare set of three." The lot realized $22 for the coins with a face value of $17.50. Low premiums were the norm for proof gold coins in those days, but the situation is much different today. We can find no recent sales of an 1891 proof half eagle in PR66 Deep Cameo, but the PR65★ Ultra Cameo NGC specimen in lot 4382 of the ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2015) realized $35,250.

    The present coin is a spectacular Premium Gem proof, with pinpoint definition on all the design elements and deeply reflective fields that contrast profoundly with the frosty devices. A dramatic gold-on-black cameo flash occurs when this coin is tilted in the light. The impeccably preserved yellow-gold surfaces have the textured orange-peel look of the best 19th century proofs. Eye appeal is truly outstanding. This coin is part of an assembled 1891 gold proof set, with the other coins from the set offered in the appropriate sections of this catalog. This coin is pictured on PCGS CoinFacts. Population: 2 in 66 Deep Cameo, 1 finer. CAC: 2 in 66, 0 finer (11/19).
    From The Sakura Collection. (Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 28CV, PCGS# 98486)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The Sakura Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 329

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