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    Gleaming Gem Cameo Proof 1879 Half Eagle

    1879 $5 PR65 Cameo PCGS. CAC. Though the 1879 half eagle proofs had an increase in stated mintage compared to the proofs of 1877 and 1878, in practice, the 1879 is not significantly more available in the marketplace than those earlier issues. The PCGS Population Report statistics suggest that there are "14 to 16 known" proof 1879 half eagles, versus "12 to 14 known" specimens for the two dates before. It is also worth noting that (as of 2/12) PCGS has certified only five total proof 1879 half eagles, compared to six certification events for the 1878 and four for the 1877.
    Of the five PCGS-certified proof 1879 half eagles, one has no Cameo designation, two are Cameo, and two are Deep Cameo. The highest numeric grades belong to the two Cameo coins, both PR65 Cameo, and it is an open question whether the sole-finest Deep Cameo coin (PR64+ Deep Cameo) or the two PR65 Cameo coins deserve to be called "finest known" for PCGS (2/12). In either event, though, this Cameo Gem Proof must be rated among the finest known survivors of a very rare issue.
    Both sides offer excellent reflectivity in the fields, pale yellow overall with occasional deeper variations. Moderately frosted devices display impeccable detail, and while the coin has a few faults, such as minor copper-spotting to the left of the profile, the all-around eye appeal is excellent. A great specimen from one of the most challenging eras for proof gold.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28CG, PCGS# 88474)

    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
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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