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    Rare 1864 Gold Dollar, PR66 Ultra Cameo

    1864 G$1 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. With this proof gold dollar from 1864, we begin the offering of a complete six-piece 1864 gold proof set, also including the quarter eagle, three dollar, half eagle, eagle, and double eagle, each coin certified by NGC as Ultra Cameo in grades ranging from PR64 to PR66. Each coin in the set is offered as a separate lot in relevant sections throughout this auction.
    The present 1864 gold dollar is certified PR66 Ultra Cameo by NGC, putting this piece among the highest-graded Ultra Cameo/Deep Cameo pieces to be offered at auction in many, many years. The last trade of a Deep Cameo or Ultra Cameo example that we are aware of is a PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS example that traded hands for $20,700 in 2004 as part of the Frog Run Farm Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 11/2004, lot 1670).
    Writing of that coin, the cataloger commented:

    "From a Proof mintage for the date of 50 pieces, all of which were struck on February 11, 1864. Of those, perhaps just 30 or so are thought to have found new owners outside the Mint, and of those 30 or so pieces, it is thought that only 12 to 15 or so can be traced today with any accuracy. The present lovely Gem is finer than the specimen offered in the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection (Lot 40, May 2000) and is noteworthy as such. In fact, the present gem is tied for finest graded honors within the Proof DCAM designation by PCGS. ..."


    The description above brings up a couple of interesting points that bear expanding. One is the unreliability of Mint reports concerning numbers of proofs struck. The usual Mint practice was to make proofs in advance of current orders; any left over were likely to be melted yet remain as part of the reported mintage. The number struck thus is often larger -- sometimes much larger -- than the number that actually entered the collector market. A second point is the unreliability of population data, especially where proof gold is concerned. A one-point jump in grade can equate to many thousands of dollars. There is overwhelming motivation to submit and resubmit coins multiple times.
    That said, the present Premium Gem Ultra Cameo proof is one of three submissions at that grade level at NGC -- the other submissions another PR66 Ultra Cameo and one PR66+ -- and the only numerically finer piece is a PR67 Cameo NGC coin (9/11). Survivor estimates range from a dozen on the low end to perhaps 20 pieces on the high end, including some examples impounded in museum collections.
    Both sides are intensely contrasted, the reverse almost impeccably black and gold. The frosty zones are a pale yellow lighter than canary. The best pedigree markers are a pair of curving lint marks on the obverse under the portrait. The preservation is excellent all around, but the holder has a scratch that appears over the space between the D in UNITED and the S of STATES, not affecting the coin in any way.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25E7, PCGS# 97614)

    Weight: 1.70 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2011
    13th-16th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,120

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