1864 Half Eagle, PR64 Ultra Cameo
1864 $5 PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC. Ex: Trompeter. The
Philadelphia Mint increased its output of gold proofs in 1864, with
50 sets reportedly delivered on February 11. As a result, the 1864
proof half eagle is slightly more available than the issues of the
previous few years, but it is still a rare coin in an absolute
sense. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth estimate the surviving population
at 15-20 examples in all grades, with two coins in the National
Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another in
the collection of the American Numismatic Society.
Rare Proof Gold Issue
Walter Breen notes the diagnostics for proofs include the high date, with the left base of the 1 over the space between two dentils and the right base of the 4 over the right edge of another dentil, and a small, nearly horizontal die line below the ear. This coin displays all these features, in addition to the sharply defined devices, squared edges, and reflective fields expected of a proof.
T. Harrison Garrett obtained this coin as part of a complete gold proof set, but he probably purchased it sometime after the date of issue, as he was just beginning his numismatic activities in the mid 1860s. The coin remained in the Garrett Collection until it was sold at auction by Stack's in 1976. It later appeared in Paramount's section of Auction '79, where it was acquired by proof gold connoisseur Ed Trompeter. This attractive Choice proof exhibits sharply detailed design elements in most areas, with just a touch of the usual softness on the right (facing) eagle's claw. The deeply mirrored fields contrast boldly with the richly frosted devices to produce a spectacular cameo effect. The well-preserved yellow-gold surfaces show a few highlights of green and a couple of tiny surface marks near star 9 that serve as pedigree markers. Eye appeal is outstanding. Census: 2 in 64 Ultra Cameo, 6 finer (4/15).
Ex: T. Harrison Garrett; Robert Garrett, John Work Garrett, Johns Hopkins University, Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 412; Auction '79 (Paramount, 7/1979), lot 312; Ed Trompeter Collection; Heritage Auctions, circa 1998; private collection.
From The Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28BZ, PCGS# 98454)
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 Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties ]
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