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    1877 Twenty, PR65 Ultra Cameo, One of Two at NGC
    Capstone to the Complete Proof Set
    Finest of at Most 10 Available to Collectors

    1877 $20 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. The present 1877 double eagle, certified PR65 Ultra Cameo by NGC, is an incredibly fitting capstone to a monumental offering of a complete 14-piece 1877 proof set, including all the minor coinage, the Trade dollar, and five gold pieces, all offered as individual lots. The five proof gold lots including the three dollar are in our Platinum Night offerings, and the minor coinage through Trade dollar are listed in their respective sections elsewhere in this auction.
    The 1877 date as a whole, of course, needs no introduction to most collectors. The 1877 Indian cent is hands-down the most desirable and collected key to the Indian cents, and series specialists also know that the three cent nickel and Shield five cent nickel are equally sought-after proof-only key dates within their respective series as well.
    But what makes this complete set even more remarkable is its phenomenal quality and consistency. Each one of the 14 coins in the set is a Gem proof with the Cameo designation from NGC at a minimum, and several of the pieces bear the Ultra Cameo designation. Each one of the minor coins grades PR66 Cameo or Ultra Cameo.
    Among the five gold pieces, again PR65 Cameo is the minimum, although this double eagle is certified PR65 Ultra Cameo, and the quarter eagle grades PR67 PR67 Ultra Cameo.
    Except for the most well-heeled, collectors may not be as familiar overall with the proof gold pieces of 1877, but they are equally legendary. The reported mintage of each denomination was a skimpy 20 proofs, and for most of them scarcely half survive today, including two complete proof sets in the Smithsonian and ANS.
    The 1877 twenty dollar proof is the first of the Type Three double eagles, with the compete denomination TWENTY DOLLARS spelled out on the reverse, an attribute that will appeal to first-year-of-type collectors.
    It is doubtful that more than 10 are available to collectors in all grades including a couple of impaired proofs, as we believe that no more than a dozen survive including the two museum pieces. The unimpaired proofs likely number only six to eight coins.
    Despite the meager number of survivors, the fact remains that in any case, the present piece is tied for the finest known with one other submission at NGC in PR65 Ultra Cameo, which may or may not represent a duplication. This piece is far and away the finest we have ever had the privilege to offer at Heritage, as it has been longer than eight years since we even offered a PR64 Ultra Cameo, an NGC-certified coin that realized $42,550 in our Pittsburgh Signature (Heritage, 8/2004), lot 7690. Three full years had passed previously to that, back in 2001, since we offered the same coin.
    Full, engaging, and profound field-device contrast is the hallmark of this remarkable PR65 Ultra Cameo example. A deep, satisfying gold-on-black effect prevails on the orange-gold surfaces on each side, which demonstrate a full strike. There is an absence of all but the most minor distractions, and even those -- a couple of tiny contact marks on the cheek, and minuscule field marks -- do nothing to detract from the immense quality and importance of this piece.
    Collectors who have been seeking the finest possible example of this elusive issue: Your search ends here. Census: 2 in 65, 0 finer (11/12).
    From The Dr. James Olsen Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 26DW, PCGS# 99093)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The Dr. James Olsen Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,384

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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    Hartford, CT
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