Gorgeous Gem Cameo Proof 1887 Ten1887 $10 PR65 Cameo NGC. CAC. In the context of classic proof gold, particularly for 19th century dates in higher denominations, rarity itself is the only thing that is commonplace. Availability is never more than relative when it comes to proof gold, as Garrett and Guth amply proved when they wrote about the 1887 ten dollar issue for the Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins:
"The 1887 eagle is one of the least rare Proofs from the 1880s, but it is still a very rare and desirable coin. The original mintage for this date was the highest it had been since Proofs were first offered to the public in 1859. However, the difference is that in 1859, the Mint struck 80 Proofs in anticipation [italics theirs] of demand, but in 1887, the Mint struck 80 Proofs in response to increased demand from collectors. Why the survival rate is so low remains a mystery, but today the total population is less than 30 pieces."
As a counterbalance to the rarity of the issue, the authors continue by noting that when an example is found, it is usually well-contrasted and "very appealing from a visual standpoint," and the present specimen is hardly an exception. Light patina has settled over the deep canary-yellow fields, which light up with incredible reflectivity at the correct angle. Moderately frosted devices supply obvious contrast, which is at its most pleasing in the interplay between stripes of the eagle's shield. Great preservation and eye appeal in spades, an all-around winner. Census: 3 in 65 Cameo, 2 finer (11/10).
From The Henry Miller Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 3X72, PCGS# 88827)
Weight: 16.72 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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