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    Gorgeous 1867 Half Eagle Rarity, PR66 Cameo

    1867 $5 PR66 Cameo NGC. CAC. A mere 50 proof half eagles were minted in 1867, and it is probably the case that some of those coins were later melted after contemporary sales opportunities dried up. Perhaps as many as half of the mintage was later melted, leaving a distribution of only 25 coins. From that smaller distribution, we estimate that just 10 to 12 still exist today. The present Premium Gem proof was recently offered in the May 2008 Stack's auction, and earlier in the same firm's Amon Carter sale held in January 1984.
    The fields are deeply mirrored around brilliant, satiny yellow-gold devices with hints of pale orange toning on both sides. A minute field spot between stars 2 and 3 serves to establish the provenance of this piece.
    The following roster of known specimens is compiled from 23 auction records, along with additional Census notes; resulting in a listing of eight to 12 different examples.

    1. PR66 Cameo NGC. CAC. The present specimen.
    2. PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC.
    Kaufman Collection (RARCOA, 8/1978), lot 836; Heritage (2/2002), lot 6836; Goldberg Coins (2/2006), lot 1175; Goldberg Coins (5/2008), lot 4436.
    3. PR65 PCGS. Hebbeard Sale (H.P. Smith, 4/1883); Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 418; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/2000), lot 495; Heritage (8/2006), lot 5514.
    4. PR65 PCGS. H.P. Smith (Chapman Brothers, 5/1906); Clapp Collection (1942); Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 515; Bowers and Merena (5/1995), lot 1327.
    5. PR64 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC. King Farouk (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 255; Abe Kosoff; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 1033; Bowers and Merena (8/2000), lot 2270; Stack's (3/2009), lot 5929.
    6. PR64 Cameo. Smithsonian Institution.
    7. PR63 Superior (1/1986), lot 3100; Heritage (8/1997), lot 5405.
    8. Proof. American Numismatic Society.

    Additional Appearances
    The following four listings may be duplicates of pieces recorded above:

    A. PR63 Cameo NGC.
    Bowers and Merena (1/1996), lot 1946.
    B. PR63. Stack's (5/1974), lot 451
    C. PR63 NGC. Ed Trompeter Collection (Superior, 3/1992), lot 148.
    D. PR60. Stack's (10/1994), lot 1186.
    Ex: Amon G. Carter, Jr. Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 681; Paramount (Auction '85, 7/1985), lot 1438; Stack's (5/2008), lot 4233; Dallas Signature (Heritage, 10/2008), lot 2169, which realized $86,250.
    From The Bay State Collection, Part Two.
    (Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 3ZLH, PCGS# 88462)

    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 Bay State Collection, Part Two ]

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    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2009
    31st-2nd Friday-Sunday
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