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    Description

    Extremely Rare Proof 1879 Half Eagle

    1879 $5 PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS. We believe that only six or seven proof half eagles of this date are known, including one in the Smithsonian Institution. Walter Breen suggested that: "Survivors probably number less than a dozen, possibly less than nine" in his Proof Encyclopedia and Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth wrote in their Gold Encyclopedia that: "There are probably fewer than 10 survivors in all grades."
    In over 30 years of coin auctions, this is only the second time we have handled an example. Previously, we sold a PR65 Cameo piece in August 2001. In addition to that coin, the Smithsonian piece, and the example offered here, we are aware of the Bass coin, the Garrett coin, and an example once owned by Ed Trompeter. None appeared in the Carter, Eliasberg, or Pittman Collections, among others.
    This piece, certified as a near-Gem Deep Cameo proof, is similar in quality to most of the known coins. In fact, each of the six coins that we are aware of grade between PR63 and PR65, always with some degree of contrast. It has lovely yellow-gold devices with full mint frost and deeply mirrored fields as expected. A small scrape in the left obverse field and a tiny field mark on the reverse near the D of UNITED are all that keep it from a Gem grade.(Registry values: P4) (PCGS# 98474)

    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 Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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