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    1860 Half Eagle, PR64 Ultra Cameo
    Only 10-12 Proofs Estimated Extant
    Ex: Ten Eyck, Clapp, Eliasberg, Trompeter

    1860 $5 PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. The mintage for 1860 proof fives is an unrealistically high 62 pieces. From 1858 through 1861, Mint Director James Ross Snowden ordered many more proofs to be produced on speculation than could actually be sold by the Mint. Coin collecting did indeed grow in popularity beginning in 1858, but not to the extent that Snowden perhaps wished. Undoubtedly wanting to maximize the sale of proofs, and thus increase the popularity of collecting, it was a simple matter to overproduce and at year's end melt the unsold proofs. This is most notable among subsidiary coinage, but it can also be seen on an issue such the 1860 five dollar. It is highly doubtful that there were 62 collectors in the country who could actually set aside a proof half eagle in 1860. The estimate of the number of survivors gives us a better idea of the net proofs sold after melting. It is generally estimated that 10-12 proofs are known today. If we assume a 50% survival rate (a generally accepted percentage for most proof gold coins), then the net mintage would have been around 20-24 pieces, leaving around 40 proofs melted at year's end as unsold.
    This is the Ed Trompeter coin, and it is a magnificent example. It is identifiable as the Trompeter specimen by the almost-straight lint mark off of the left point of star 8, and several distinctive planchet depressions and lint marks to the left of the leftmost leaf on the reverse. The surfaces exude rich reddish-gold color. The fields are deeply mirrored and appear "black," giving the frosted devices a strong background which produces the Ultra Cameo contrast. This is the only Ultra/Deep 1860 five dollar certified by either of the major services. Only seven certification events have been recorded by both NGC and PCGS in all grades and with all finishes (3/11). That number is probably close to the total number known in private hands. The Smithsonian has two examples in its permanent collection.
    Ex: James Ten Eyck Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1922); John H. Clapp Collection, 1942; Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 496; Ed Trompeter Collection, sold privately by Heritage in 1999.
    From The Slotkin Family Trust Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 5U83, PCGS# 98450)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The Slotkin Family Trust Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2011
    27th-1st Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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