The Eliasberg 1869 Five Dollar, PR65 ★ Cameo
    Tied for Numerically Finest Known

    1869 $5 PR65 ★ Cameo NGC. Ex: Eliasberg. This piece was formerly lot 519 in the Louis E. Eliasberg "U.S. Gold" Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), where the cataloger described it thusly:

    "Twenty-five struck; apparently not all distributed. Walter Breen notes the location of eight specimens, including two impaired and two institutionalized. Probably 10 to 12 are known totally.
    "Another 'rarest of the rare' issue, the desirability of which is compounded by the related low business strike mintage of only 1,760 pieces."
    "Believed to be from the John H. Clapp Collection, 1944. Earlier from the Chapman brothers, 1896."

    As is usual for many early proof gold issues, with the advent of certified grading, there are perhaps a few more pieces known to survive than when the description above was written, although two remain impounded in the Smithsonian and ANS collections; duplications in the certified populations are also certain. PCGS estimates 15 to 20 pieces surviving, showing nine submissions of the 1869 proof five in all grades (none above PR65) and contrast levels. NGC adds five grading events to the total, of which the present PR65 Cameo is tied for the numerically finest, as well as the only example awarded the Star designation for exceptional eye appeal.
    The surfaces are deeply reflective, with the expected mint frost providing considerable contrast over the devices. The surfaces display rich reddish-gold color with a slight flecking of lilac noticeable on the obverse, only under a loupe. The fields show only faint evidence of the orange-peel texture that appears on many later-date gold proofs. There are no mentionable defects on either side, aside from the upside-down U lint mark along the jawline of Liberty. A PR65 Cameo PCGS example in our Central States Platinum Night (Heritage, 4/2012), lot 5272, brought $69,000. Census: 1 in 65 Cameo, 0 finer (7/12).
    Ex: Louis E. Eliasberg Collection ("U.S. Gold," Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 519, which brought $9,900, a remarkably strong price at the time; possible earlier provenance above.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 3WUS, PCGS# 88464)

    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
    September, 2012
    6th-9th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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