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    Description

    1862 Eagle, Bold PR64 Cameo
    Ex: Norweb, Exemplary Quality
    No More Than Nine Examples Known in Private Hands

    1862 $10 PR64 Cameo NGC. The proof 1862 eagle is a major rarity in every sense. Mint records report a coinage of 35 pieces, but likely fewer than half of those were ever sold. Past survival estimates have surmised that perhaps 12 to 15 examples are known today. The combined NGC and PCGS populations show 15 grading events, but this number is undoubtedly inflated by resubmissions. Our exhaustive study of auction data going back more than a century identifies what we believe to be 12 individual coins, including three pieces permanently impounded in museum collections. However, given the poor quality of many 1980s and '90s-era catalog plates, one or two of the coins listed in the roster below may be duplications, with only 10 or 11 different examples actually extant. The limited number of original proof sets currently traced lends support to the latter scenario.

    A single die pair was used for the gold proof issue. The obverse is easily identified by date placement, the numerals set low and to the left, slanting down to the right, with the 1 centered over the space between two dentils; there is also a distinct dash-like die flaw in the field above the 2, likely the remnant of a misplaced numeral. The reverse is most easily identified by a small die flaw tucked against the outer edge of the eagle's right (facing) wing, near the tip. In his Proof Encyclopedia, Breen states that this obverse was also one of the two obverse dies employed for the Judd-297 and -298 copper patterns, but a new study of the die varieties reveals that neither pattern obverse matches the gold proof obverse; one pattern die is obviously different, with the date much higher in the field, while the other shares a position similar to the gold proof obverse but shows the 1 centered over a dentil, rather than centered over two as is seen on the gold proof die.

    In the past 20-plus years, we have offered a proof 1862 eagle only six times, representing just four different examples. Prior to this coin's appearance in last year's ANA Signature Auction, the next most recent offering was the Garrett coin, offered as lot 5884 in our August 2013 Rosemont Signature sale, where it realized $152,750. The present example is the outstanding Norweb coin, formerly from the Melish Collection. Deep golden mirrors provide a gleaming backdrop for the razor-sharp, frosty motifs, and reveal only a minimal number of faint hairlines when studied with a loupe. The reverse shows a thin grease streak (as struck), extending from the (U)N(ITED) to the (STA)T(ES) and then back down to the eagle's head, an invaluable pedigree identifier. The incredible eye appeal makes for an alluring complement to the extreme rarity of this No Motto proof eagle. Census: 2 in 64 Cameo, 2 finer (11/15).

    Roster of Proof 1862 Eagles
    1. PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 399, as part of a complete six-piece proof set offered individually; Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3136; Baltimore Auction (Stack's, 3/2012), lot 4335; Rosemont Signature (Heritage, 8/2013), lot 5884. Plated on page 59 of Proof Gold Coinage of the United States, by Robert J. Loewinger, M.D.
    2. PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. Dr. James Olson; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2013), lot 5908. Plated on page 60 of Proof Gold Coinage of the United States, by Robert J. Loewinger, M.D.
    3. PR64 Deep Cameo. National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution. Grade per Garrett and Guth.
    4. PR64 Deep Cameo. National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution. Grade per Garrett and Guth.
    5. PR64 Cameo NGC. Thomas G. Melish Collection (Kosoff, 4/1956), lot 2449; Ben Stack; Norweb Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 3/1988), lot 2185; Auction '90 (Superior, 8/1990), lot 1348; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 12/1991), lot 2283; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2015), lot 4423. The present coin.
    6. PR64 Cameo PCGS.
    ANA Sale (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 3089; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 1487.
    7. PR64 Cameo PCGS. N.M. Kaufman Collection (RARCOA, 8/1978), lot 877; Dennis Mendelson Collection (Superior, 2/1991), lot 2859; Baltimore '93 Auction (Superior, 7/1993), lot 900; Medio Collection (Stack's/ANR, 6/2004), lot 1471; Chicago Signature (Heritage, 8/2011), lot 7619.
    8. PR64 Cameo PCGS. Dr. Richard Ariagno Collection (Goldberg, 5/1999), lot 791; Pre-Long Beach (Goldberg, 9/2003), lot 1183; Internet Sale (Heritage, 12/2003), lot 14377; Pre-Long Beach (Goldberg, 5-6/2005), lot 985.
    9. PR64 PCGS. Possibly acquired directly from the Mint by George Davis; Davis-Graves Collection (Stack's, 4/1954), lot 873, as part of a complete six-piece proof set offered individually; Harold S. Bareford Collection (Stack's, 12/1978), lot 219, as part of a complete six-piece proof set offered individually; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 4751; Ed Trompeter.
    10. PR64 NGC. James Ten Eyck Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 316; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (1942); Louis Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 716; Amon G. Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 763; Auction '85 (RARCOA, 7/1985), lot 456; Charles Kramer Collection (Stack's, 11-12/1988), lot 592; Auction '89 (Superior, 7/1989), lot 917.
    11. PR64 PCGS. Charles Jay Collection (Stack's, 10/1967), lot 318; James Dines (Stack's, 3/1969), lot 826; 55th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/1990), lot 1690; James E. Haldan Collection (Sotheby's, 6/1996), lot 115.
    12. Proof. R.C.H. Brock; J.P. Morgan; American Numismatic Society; Exhibited at the American Numismatic Society Exhibition (1914).


    Twelve other auction appearances have been located, and may represent other individual pieces or (more likely) duplicate appearances of the coins above.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 28EY, PCGS# 88798)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 968

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