Description

    Richly Contrasted 1885 Half Eagle
    PR65 Deep Cameo, None Finer at PCGS

    1885 $5 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. The proof mintage of 1885 half eagles was large enough to escape notice, but apparently also small enough that few specimens survive today in high grades. A total of 66 pieces were made.
    The Garrett-Guth Gold Encyclopedia says of the coins:

    "The survival of the 1885 half eagle is on par with that of the other issues of the early and middle 1880s. There are perhaps 20 or so examples known. Many coins of the original mintage probably entered circulation or were melted as unsold. Even today, there are very few individuals who actually collect Proof gold coins by date. The same was even truer in the 1880s. There are two examples in the Smithsonian, one from the original Mint Collection, the other donated by the Lilly family in the 1960s. At least two other coins are in tightly held collections. The 1885 half eagle is very rare in Proof."


    Walter Breen calls the issue "extremely rare, more so than its mintage suggests, enough so as to be almost a forgotten coin." PCGS' CoinFacts website suggests that only 10 or so examples survive at the Gem proof level or finer. The present Gem Deep Cameo PCGS specimen displays rich reddish-gold coloration accented by splotches of lilac interspersed over the obverse, while the reverse is more even and consistent in color. A pronounced orange-peel effect, often seen on proof gold, appears on each side. The sole mentionable contact is a small vertical mark on Liberty's neck.
    PCGS has seen only a single Gem proof example each in non-Cameo, Cameo, and Deep Cameo, the last being the present coin. There are no Deep Cameos finer (11/11).(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 37X8, PCGS# 98480)

    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, 2012
    3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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