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    1865 Half Eagle, PR65 Cameo
    Only 10 to 12 Examples Believed Extant

    1865 $5 PR65 Cameo NGC. All early proof gold issues are very rare with most mintages well under 100 specimens. The 1865 half eagle is particularly challenging; a mere 25 proofs were struck. This was coupled with a low business strike output of only 1,270 pieces. Garrett and Guth (2006) estimate the total number of survivors at 10 to 12, of which two coins are permanently impounded in the collections of the American Numismatic Society and the Smithsonian.
    Breen (1977) writes that from 1858, when the sale of proof sets was first publicly advertised, through 1867 the prices of proof sets were $3 for the minor and silver coins, $43 for the gold coins, and $46 for the complete set. In 1865 the face value of a complete proof set was listed as $43.46, but the specie price was $43.54 -- the extra eight cents was considered a "proofing charge." The latter was likely the price paid by the Mint Cabinet, but collectors would have had to spend an additional $2.46, which netted the Mint a tidy profit. (For those keeping track, the complete set apparently lacked the nickel three cent piece, which was not authorized until several days after the first proof sets were delivered.)
    The $46 price for a complete set would have been too high for all but a handful of the most serious (and wealthy) collectors. Therefore, while 500 minor and silver coin proof sets were made in 1865, only 25 proof gold sets were issued.
    The certified population for early proof gold is misleading, as is the case for most rarities. Crossovers and resubmissions are relatively plentiful, and it is likely that the total number of proof 1865 half eagles reported by NGC and PCGS (23 specimens) at least doubles the true number of survivors.
    The present coin is one of only three PR65 Cameo representatives certified by NGC, while PCGS has not awarded a single Cameo designation for this year. This piece is bested by just four coins: one in PR65 Ultra Cameo and three numerically finer examples (7/11). The surfaces display deep, even reddish-gold color, and moderate contrast between the fields and devices even though the fields are deeply reflective. Numerous tiny contact marks are seen on each side, but the only one worthy of individual mention is located above the F in OF. A truly rare opportunity to acquire a magnificent early proof half eagle.
    From The Oliver Collection.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 3ZLB, PCGS# 88455)

    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 Oliver Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2011
    11th-14th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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