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    1875 Liberty Half Eagle, PR65 Ultra Cameo
    Classic Gold Rarity, 20 Examples Struck
    Ex: Trompeter

    1875 $5 PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. Ex: Trompeter. The year 1875 is revered by all collectors of U.S. gold coins because of the minuscule production totals for all gold denominations except the double eagle at the Philadelphia Mint. Only 20 gold proof sets were delivered on February 13, to accompany extremely low business-strike mintages of gold dollars (400 pieces), quarter eagles (400 pieces), three dollar gold pieces (no business strikes produced), half eagles (200 pieces), and eagles (100 pieces). For collectors of the Liberty half eagle series, only the 1854-S is more difficult to locate than the 1875 (counting both proof and regular-issue examples). Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth estimate fewer than ten business strikes are extant, with about the same number of proofs surviving in all grades. Two proofs are included in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another is in the collection of the American Numismatic Society. NGC and PCGS have combined to certify 13 proof examples, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (4/15). We have compiled a roster of the 11 proof 1875 half eagles known to us below.

    The present coin is a magnificent Gem that is currently the finest-certified 1875 Liberty half eagle, by virtue of its Ultra Cameo designation. At one time the Byron Reed specimen was listed as PR66 Cameo in the NGC Census, but there is no coin listed in that grade today (4/15). We suspect the Reed coin has been crossed over, and is now in a PCGS holder, but we have no definitive information on this matter. This coin shows the diagnostic touch of softness on the arrow fletching, shield, and eagle's neck seen on all examples of the 1875 half eagle, but it is sharply detailed in other areas. The frosty design elements stand out dramatically against the deeply mirrored fields and the immaculate surfaces are free of mentionable distractions. A small lintmark in the left obverse field near Liberty's lips and a small alloy spot between the two uppermost leaves on the reverse act as pedigree markers. Eye appeal is terrific and this coin claims an illustrious pedigree to the famous Trompeter Collection of proof gold coinage. The 1875 half eagle is listed among the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. Census: 1 in 65 Ultra Cameo, 0 finer (4/15).

    Roster of Proof 1875 Half Eagles
    Note: Plate matching is extremely difficult with this issue, as most examples show few pedigree markers and catalog images often lack explicit detail. We would not be surprised to learn some duplication is present in the roster below. It seems likely that some of these coins were included in the collections of "Colonel" Green and Virgil Brand at some time, but we have no specific documentation on that subject.
    1. PR66 Cameo NGC. Byron Reed; City of Omaha; Durham Western Heritage Museum; Byron Reed Collection (Spink-Christie's 10/1996), lot 174; Morrison-Licht Collections (Stack's, 3/2005), lot 1968; 70th Anniversary Sale (Stack's, 10/2005), lot 1246; possibly Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 11/2010), lot 5042, realized $143,750. Note: NGC no longer lists any coin graded PR66 Cameo in its Census (4/15).
    2. PR65 Ultra Cameo NGC. Dallas and Newport Beach Sale (Heritage, 6/1987), lot 4432; Ed Trompeter; Heritage Auctions, circa 1998; private collection. The present coin.
    3. PR65 Cameo PCGS. FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/1999), Lot 8145; Richard Genaitis Collection (Heritage, 8/2001), lot 7849; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2014), lot 5462, realized $176,250.
    4. PR64 Cameo PCGS. Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/2002), lot 816.
    5. PR64 PCGS. Heman Ely, part of a complete gold proof set; W. Elliot Woodward; purchased by T. Harrison Garrett in 1883; Robert Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 454; Auction '90 (David Akers, 8/1990), lot 1776; Wes Rasmussen Collection (Superior, 2/1998), lot 3416; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 5/1999), lot 3538; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 9/2005), lot 1873.
    6. PR64 PCGS. Mumford-Kalbfleisch-Hayden Collections (New York Coin & Stamp, 4/1896), lot 543; John M. Clapp; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate; purchased by Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. in 1942, via Stack's; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 536; Dennis Mendelson Collection (Superior, 2/1991), lot 2804; Chicago Sale (Superior, 8/1991), lot 722.
    7. PR64 PCGS. Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/1997), lot 369; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 5/2001), lot 9039.
    8. PR64. King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 256; Abe Kosoff; Harold Bareford Collection (Stack's, 12/1978), lot 189; Auction '89 (David Akers, 7/1989), lot 1394.
    9. PR64 Deep Cameo, per Garrett and Guth. National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
    10. Proof. R.C.H. Brock; J.P. Morgan; American Numismatic Society.
    11. PR60, polished, per Garrett and Guth. National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

    Additional Appearances
    A. Proof. Lorin G. Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 1397, part of a complete minor, silver, and gold proof set split between four lots in the catalog.
    B. Proof. Thomas Cleneay Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 12/1890), lot 426, part of a complete gold proof set.
    C. Proof. Major William B. Wetmore Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 6/1906), lot 158, part of a complete gold proof set; William Forrester Dunham Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1941), lot 2153.
    D. Proof. William H. Woodin, exhibited at the 1914 ANS Exhibition, possibly Waldo Newcomer; F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1946), lot 429.
    E. Proof. Colonel James W. Flanagan Collection (Stack's, 3/1944), lot 1153.
    F. Proof. Jacob Shapiro (aka J.F. Bell); Bell Collection (Stack's, 12/1944), lot 399.
    G. Proof. William Cutler Atwater Collection (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1696.
    H. Proof, impaired. H.R. Lee Collection (Stack's, 10/1947), lot 1298.
    I. Proof. Adolphe Menjou Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 6/1950), lot 1520.
    Ex: Ed Trompeter Collection; Heritage Auctions, circa 1998; private collection.
    From The Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 37X2, PCGS# 98470)

    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 ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,611

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