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    Famous 1862 Half Eagle, PR64 Ultra Cameo

    1862 $5 PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. The economic conditions of the Civil War had a profound effect on the coinage of the time. The public hoarded any coins with intrinsic value, and only tokens and paper money were willingly used in commerce. Specie payments were suspended, and the small amount of hard money that was available was used to pay off foreign creditors, who would accept nothing else. Under the circumstances, the government found it impractical to mint large quantities of coins that would not circulate. Mint records indicate that only 4,430 business strike and 35 proof half eagles were produced in 1862. Survivorship of both issues is extremely low, with perhaps a dozen proof specimens and only a handful of Uncirculated business strikes extant. The small number of business strikes puts even more pressure on the minuscule supply of proof coins to satisfy collector demand.
    The beauty and rarity of the issue cause the 1862 proof half eagle to stand out, even when surrounded by other remarkable coins. Louis Eliasberg made numismatic history by forming the only complete collection of U.S. coins. He included a Gem proof example of the 1862 half eagle in his fabulous collection. Ed Trompeter assembled perhaps the most impressive collection of proof U.S. gold coins of any era. His 1862 half eagle was a magnificent PR64 Cameo. The Trompeter coin later graced the wonderful collection of Dr. Robert Loewinger, which was sold by Heritage on January 4, 2007.
    The present coin may eclipse the other remarkable coins discussed above. The devices are even more richly frosted than the Trompeter coin, as evidenced by the Ultra Cameo designation. The stark gold-on-black contrast between the reflective fields and the frosted devices is spectacular. The surfaces of the devices are slightly granular in places and there are a few hairlines in the reverse field, but nothing individually distracting. The strike is sharp, and overall eye appeal is stunning. A magnificent coin and a great opportunity for the advanced collector. Census: 4 in 64 Ultra Cameo, 2 finer (10/08).(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28BX, PCGS# 98452)

    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 Dates
    December, 2008
    4th-7th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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