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    Ultra Cameo PR66 1890 Ten Dollar
    Tied for Numerically Finest Ultra Cameo

    1890 $10 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. Even though the mintage of 1890 proof tens increased over previous years to a "high" of 63 pieces, it only slightly increased the availability of high-grade survivors. At the PR66 Ultra/Deep Cameo level, only five pieces have been certified by both of the major services, four by NGC and one at PCGS (6/12).
    The comments by Walter Breen (1988) and those of Garrett-Guth (2006) reinforce and help explain the comments of the other. Breen states that 1890 proof tens show incomplete curls behind the neck of Liberty (from die polishing). Then he goes on to state, "polish at ear, eye, and usually TY." Garrett-Guth state, "Both cameo and deep cameo examples exist, with the expectation that deep cameos came first, and that, as more Proofs were struck, the dies self-polished, thus reducing the contrast over time." It is the passage "the dies self-polished" that explains Breen's observation about the die polish seen at the ear, eye, and usually TY. This coin was obviously one of the first struck, as evidenced by the profound contrast seen between the fields and devices on each side. However, the die polish Breen mentions is not apparent on this piece. If the dies did indeed "self polish" then subsequent proofs would show the patches of brightness mentioned by Breen.
    The yellow-gold surfaces of this Ultra Cameo PR66 specimen are exceptionally well-preserved. The only surface disturbances we see (with the aid of a loupe) are a couple of tiny contact marks on the point of the chin of Liberty. The fields on each side show the crinkly orange-peel effect found on most proof gold struck from the 1870s through the turn of the century. This effect was not a conscious one by the Mint, but rather the result of annealing planchets in a furnace that was too hot from previously annealing copper, nickel, or silver planchets.(Registry values: P2)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28FV, PCGS# 98830)

    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
    August, 2012
    2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,169

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