Second Finest 1883 Half Eagle
1883 $5 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. We believe that the present
example is the second finest proof 1883 surviving from an original
mintage of just 61 coins. Probably less than 20 of those are known
today, mostly in lower quality. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth discuss
this issue in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins: "The mintage
figures for Proof Liberty half eagles creep up slightly each year
starting in 1990; however, the survival rate goes down. This issue
is of similar rarity to that of other, lower-mintage issues. There
are fewer than 20 coins traceable today, including those in museum
collections. Because of the scarcity of this issue, the opportunity
to acquire an example of the date in Proof seldom occurs."
PR66 Ultra Cameo
We have compiled a preliminary roster that includes 14 distinctly different specimens:
PR67 Deep Cameo PCGS. Paramount (9/1971), lot 1539; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/2000), lot 547; American Numismatic Rarities (3/2004), lot 1459.
PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. The present specimen. Earlier from Superior (5/1993), lot 1503.
PR65. Thomas Melish (Abe Kosoff, 4/1956), lot 2194; Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 10/1987), lot 913; Stack's (10/1988), lot 94; Stack's (3/1994), lot 1519.
PR65 PCGS. U.S. Coin Co. (1915); Clapp Collection (1942); Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 560; Heritage (11/2003), lot 7595.
PR64 Deep Cameo. Smithsonian Institution.
PR64 Cameo NGC J.C. Morgenthau (5/1939), lot 261; Floyd T. Starr Collection (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 1209; Bowers and Merena (3/1993), lot 1397; Heritage (8/1993), lot 7370; Heritage Bullet (10/1993), lot 418.
PR64 NGC. Auction '84 (Stack's, 7/1984), lot 1439; Ed Trompeter Collection (Superior, 3/1992), lot 164; Heritage.
PR64 PCGS. Walter H. Childs Collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/1999), lot 747.
Proof. Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 478.
Proof. New Netherlands Coin Co. (5/18/1948); Harold S. Bareford (Stack's, 12/1978), lot 198.
Proof. Amon Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 696.
Proof. N.M. Kaufman Collection (RARCOA, 8/1978), lot 847.
PR60. Bowers and Merena (1/2000), lot 384.
Proof. American Numismatic Society.
This example is an amazing Ultra Cameo proof with bright yellow surfaces. The devices are fully brilliant and lustrous, with deeply mirrored fields on both sides. A few tiny planchet flakes are evident, and serve as ideal pedigree markers.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# BPY9, PCGS# 98478)
Weight: 8.36 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
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