1873 Closed 3 Half Eagle
1873 $5 Closed 3 PR65 Cameo NGC. This is the eighth
appearance of a proof 1873 Liberty half eagle in any of our
auctions since 1993, and almost unbelievably, the fourth appearance
in 2011. Two examples appeared in our FUN sale in January, and
another appeared in our Central States auction. Just 25 proof 1873
Closed 3 half eagles were minted, and current research suggests
that 12 to 15 survive today. NGC and PCGS have a total combined
population of 26 examples, including two graded PR65 Cameo, three
called PR65 Ultra Cameo, and one PR66 Ultra Cameo.
Different examples include the Carter-Trompeter, Bass, Eliasberg, Garrett, Reed, and Farouk-Bareford specimens, along with another in the Smithsonian Institution. Most other auction appearances over the past couple decades are reappearances of those coins, with a few unrelated auction offerings. We believe the present piece is the third- or fourth-finest survivor.
The impressive strike shows full details, including the intricate design work on each side, with bright yellow devices and deeper yellow fields. The contrast between the frosty devices and fully mirrored fields is outstanding, with unlimited depth. Faint lines are noted in the left obverse field with a couple tiny pedigree marks above star 2 that confirms the provenance. No other blemishes are found on either side. Census: 2 in 65 Cameo, 0 finer (5/11).
Ex: Henry Miller Collection (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5125.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 3ZLN, PCGS# 88468)
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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