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    Description

    1910 'Bright Proof' Half Eagle, PR66 ★
    Remarkably Few Certified in High Grades

    1910 $5 PR66 ★ NGC. CAC. Like all the gold denominations struck in 1910, the half eagle also had an unusually high mintage. In this case 250 "bright proofs" were struck. While this was the largest mintage in the 1908-1915 proof series, the 1910 is actually the sixth scarcest of the eight proofs struck of the Indian Head five dollar type. Like the 1910 proof quarter eagles, one is again forced to ask: Where are they? One possibility we can dismiss, though, is that unlike the quarter eagle proofs from this year, the five dollar proofs were not struck in larger quantities with the thought that the coins that remained unsold could be dropped into circulation. The rule for proofs in these years was that proofs could not be released until that denomination had been struck in one one of the mints in the same calendar year. In the case of 1910 proof half eagles, Denver started striking this denomination in January, so the half eagle did not have the same collector pressure as the quarter eagle.

    The untreated "bright proofs," or "Roman Gold" proofs as Walter Breen termed them, are remarkably forgiving when it comes to contact marks or wispy hairlines. The pebbly surfaces conceal all but the most obvious post-striking defects. And yet, few high-grade proofs are known of this date. Combining the numbers certified by both NGC and PCGS, the total is only 76 grading events. Breaking down the number of high-grade pieces by service, NGC has certified 15 coins in PR66 (surely that number contains several resubmissions) and nine finer (3/15). PCGS has only graded three pieces in PR66 with one finer. Even more than the numbers certified indicate, there are very few high-grade proofs available at public auction. The last PR66 sold was an NGC coin we offered in our Long Beach Auction in September, 2011; a coin that brought $77,625. Only two PR67s have brought more than that coin, and we expect a similarly strong price for this piece with its Star designation and CAC endorsement.

    This coin certainly lives up to the Mint's terminology of "bright proof." The uniformly bright surfaces are only tempered by a slight accent of reddish patina, the natural result of the copper alloy that has surfaced more than a century after striking. We see no contact marks, alloy spots, or shiny spots on either side of this magnificent proof. As expected, the strike details are fully brought up in all areas.
    From The Big Sky Collection.(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28E4, PCGS# 8541)

    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 Big Sky Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,090

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