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    Description

    Top-Notch 1896 Eagle, PR66 Deep Cameo
    None Finer at Either Service

    1896 $10 PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. PCGS and NGC have each certified a meager three submissions of the 1896 Liberty Head eagle in Premium Gem proof grade with the Deep or Ultra Cameo contrast level, and neither service has seen one in higher grade (2/12). The Breen Proof Encyclopedia comments of 1896 gold proof sets that "not over 78 could have been made, probably under 75." As the Mint during this era issued both complete gold proof sets as ordered and singletons as well, and usually melted any extra unsold pieces at the end of the year, the number reportedly made oftentimes does not reflect the number actually issued to collectors. In any case, Breen also comments that the eagle is the "rarest denomination of the year in proof."
    The PCGS CoinFacts website reports an estimate of 35 to 45 survivors known of the 1896 eagle, while showing 25 submissions on its Population Report -- 16 in non-Cameo, all grades, and nine in Deep Cameo, all grades. NGC shows 16 pieces in Cameo and seven in Ultra Cameo, the highest a single PR66 Ultra Cameo. After the certain duplications are eliminated, the CoinFacts estimate seems about right, probably toward the low side of 35 coins.
    Garrett and Guth write cogently of the issue in the second edition of their Gold Encyclopedia:

    "The 1896 eagle has one of the highest Proof mintages of the series, but it is much rarer than later dates such as 1898 and 1899. Again, the population reports are bloated with resubmissions (to what degree is unclear), but this date appears at auction only a trifle more frequently than dates with much lower mintages (such as 1894 and 1895, for example). In reality, the 1896 is an underrated date that deserves much more attention than it has received in the past."


    The surfaces on this orange-gold Premium Gem easily "go to black" when the coin is tilted slightly, and neither side hosts any mentionable distractions. The strike is full throughout. The reverse fields display noticeable orange-peel texture, while the obverse shows almost none. The proof coins of 1896 and 1898 are renowned for their high quality and excellent contrast, and this specimen provides ample evidence of the reasons why.
    From The William D. Plumley Collection.(Registry values: P1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28G3, PCGS# 98836)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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

    View all of [The William D. Plumley Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,625

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