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    1844 Eagle, PR63 Cameo
    The Only Example Available to Collectors

    1844 $10 PR63 Cameo NGC. Ex: Pittman. Only two examples of the 1844 proof eagle are known, and the present coin is the only piece available to collectors. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth's Encyclopedia of U.S Gold Coins (2006) notes a second example in National Numismatic Collection, graded by Garrett and Guth as PR64 Deep Cameo. The National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian holds extensive runs of proof gold, featuring a total of about 400 examples dated between 1821 and 1915. Among the collection are such desiderata as the unique 1849 proof double eagle, three Ultra High Relief 1907 Saint-Gaudens twenties, and many of the earliest proofs, including the 1821 quarter eagle and half eagle.

    While collectors can reasonably compete with the National Numismatic Collection in various specialized areas, proof gold is not among them. Still, there have been a number of noteworthy cabinets. Certain 19th century collectors systematically acquired gold proof sets, perhaps none more remarkably than Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Coin and Stamp, 6/1890), who possessed complete sets from 1858 to 1876, in addition to many of the rare pre-1858 pieces. The William Boerum Wetmore collection (Samuel H. and Henry Chapman, 6/1906) featured a virtually complete run of proof gold sets from 1863 to 1881. At the time these coins were considered much as modern proofs might be today, and valuations were shockingly low, just multiples of face value.
    Fast forward to the 21st century, and in the present era the appearance of a complete proof gold set for even a single year draws attention. Memorable in recent times are the Walter H. Childs collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/1999), which featured proof gold runs from 1876 to 1915, believed to have been purchased directly from the Mint on an annual basis. The Eliasberg gold collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982) contained a majority of the proof gold issues from 1858 onward, while the Pittman cabinet (David Akers, 10/1997 and 5/1998) was rich in pre-1858 proofs of all denominations. The Ed Trompeter collection (auctioned in part through Superior Galleries, 2/1992, with the remainder sold directly to Heritage Rare Coin Galleries in August 1998, in a transaction exceeding $15 million) was the most ambitious attempt, and comprehensive for the proof gold series. Such heights are unreachable for most of today's collectors, and the focus is more likely to be centered on type collecting, as essayed in Robert J. Loewinger, M.D.'s Proof Gold Coinage of the United States (2003). In addition to type collectors, the present offering will appeal to any collector seeking something unique. While a duplicate technically rests in the Smithsonian, this proof eagle is an opportunity to acquire something that will be unobtainable by all other collectors.

    Walter Breen's United States Eagles (undated, but published by Hewitt in the 1960s) details two varieties for 1844 eagles. On proof coins, as seen here, the date uniformly slants up from left to right. This is a suggestive of a four-digit logotype punch, and the existence of the 1844-O doubled date half dollar, exhibiting bold doubling of all four digits, reinforces this idea. On the 1844 business strike eagles, the 1 in the date is located more closely to the left point of the bust. The present coin exhibits a few hairlines on Liberty's cheek as well as in the right field. There is also a light reverse scratch running from the top arrow on the right to ER in AMERICA. The orange-gold, mirrored fields attest to the proof status, and, when combined with the Cameo designation, a numismatic treasure emerges.
    Ex: F. C. C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1946), lot 649; J. F. Bell; "Memorable" Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 547, realized $210; John Jay Pittman Collection Part One (Akers, 10/1997), lot 833, realized $440,000, as part of a complete 1844 proof set.
    From The New Orleans Collection.(Registry values: P2)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28EJ, PCGS# 88780)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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    Auction Info

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