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    1865 Half Eagle, PR67 Cameo
    Single-Finest Certified Example
    Ex: Eliasberg-Trompeter

    1865 $5 PR67 Cameo NGC. CAC. Ex: Trompeter. Only 25 proof Liberty half eagles were struck in 1865, all for inclusion in the gold proof sets, which were delivered on March 8, 1865. The reverse design was changed the following year to include the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, and the 1865 proof half eagle has always been popular with type collectors for this reason. The financial stresses of the Civil War had a drastic effect on all U.S. coinage, with the government suspending specie payments in 1861, followed by widespread hoarding of all precious-metal coinage. As a result, the mintage of business-strike half eagles was limited to 1,270 pieces in 1865 and Mint State coins are extremely rare in today's market, putting increased pressure on the small supply of proofs. The population data is skewed by resubmissions and crossovers, but probably no more than 10-12 proofs survive in all grades, with one coin in the Smithsonian Institution and another in the collection of the American Numismatic Society.

    The present coin first surfaced in the possession of Charles S. Wilcox, a prominent 19th century collector of gold coins from Chicago. He sold the bulk of his collection through the Chapman brothers in 1901, but records indicate he sold this piece to John M. Clapp in a private transaction circa 1896. The coin remained in the Clapp family until 1942, when super collector Louis E. Eliasberg acquired it, along with the entire Clapp collection, in a monumental private transaction brokered by Stack's. Eliasberg formed the only complete collection of U.S. coins by date, mintmark, and major variety and he retained his coins until his death in 1976. Afterward, his collection was split up among his heirs. The gold portion of his collection, including the present coin, was sold as the United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), one of the most memorable and financially successful coin auctions of all time. This coin was purchased by legendary gold proof specialist Ed Trompeter, later passing through Heritage Auctions to a private collection.

    The coin offered here is the finest-certified example, a delightful Superb Gem, with sharply detailed design elements and deeply mirrored fields that contrast boldly with the richly frosted devices. The impeccably preserved greenish-gold surfaces show a slight orange-peel texture, a characteristic shared by many of the best proofs of this era. Overall visual appeal is outstanding and the coin's illustrious pedigree adds to its historic interest. For Registry Set enthusiasts there is no adequate substitute for this remarkable coin. Census: 1 in 67 Cameo, 0 finer (4/15).
    Ex: Charles S. Wilcox; purchased privately by John M. Clapp, circa 1896; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. in 1942, via Stack's; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 510; Ed Trompeter Collection; Heritage Auctions, circa 1998; private collection.
    From The Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties.(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 Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties ]

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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