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    Momentous 1846 Half Eagle, PR64 Cameo
    The John Jay Pittman Specimen
    Only Example Available to Collectors

    1846 Liberty Head Half Eagle PR64 Cameo NGC. Large Date. Ex: Pittman. The John Jay Pittman example, this piece, along with its two companion gold coins offered separately in this auction, was originally from the Ed Frossard 1892 auction sale, passing down to Pittman intact as part of a 10-piece original proof set in its case of issue. The Frossard sale, and later the Pittman offering, were the only known auction appearances of this single intact 1846 proof set complete with gold coins.
    This is the only 1846 proof half eagle available to collectors. The other two known examples are in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the American Numismatic Society. With a total population of three coins, the 1846 half eagle is the rarest of the three gold coins in the proof set. In David Akers' description of this coin in the Pittman Collection, he makes the interesting observation that the same reverse die was used for the proof half eagles of 1844, 1845, 1846, and 1848, all of which were in the Pittman Collection. The die, unused used on business strikes of those years, is recognizable by a series of tiny die file marks in the left field near the eagle's leg and the three lower wing feathers close to the body.
    Noticeable cameo contrast and rich orange-gold color highlight this momentous coin, which is close to a Gem grade with excellent preservation and superlative eye appeal. Garrett and Guth note in their U.S. gold reference that "[Pittman] exhibited the set many times and considered his complete Proof sets from 1843 to 1846 to be among his most prized possessions." Census: 1 in 64 Cameo, 0 finer (11/10).
    Part of a complete original cased proof set complete with gold, the only one known. Ex: Ed Frossard (11/4/1892); Numismatic Gallery (1949); John J. Pittman; Pittman Collection (Akers, 5/1998), lot 1712, realized $522,500 for the set.(Registry values: P3) (PCGS# 88436)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2011
    5th-9th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,907

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