Description

    1887 Half Eagle, PR63 Ultra Cameo
    Proof-Only Mintage of 87 Pieces

    1887 $5 PR63 Ultra Cameo NGC. The Philadelphia Mint maintained a small and eccentric production of business-strike gold coins in 1887: 7,500 gold dollars, 6,160 quarter eagles, 6,000 three dollar gold pieces, and 53,600 eagles. Completely omitted were the half eagle and double eagle, available (then as now) exclusively in proof format. The double eagles are more famous today, but the proof 1887 half eagle has a distinctly smaller mintage of only 87 pieces, compared to 121 proof twenties.

    The 1887 half eagle is also the sole proof-only issue in its With Motto series, a singular anomaly as compared to the trio of such dates among twenties. As is always the case, a significant number of proofs have been lost to time, and worn and otherwise impaired representatives are even more prevalent than usual; Garrett and Guth note, "Many probably entered circulation, as this date has the largest number of impaired examples seen for Proof issues of the 1880s."

    Fortunately for collectors, this Select specimen survived to showcase its excellent Ultra Cameo contrast. While the reflective fields, pale yellow with subtle orange-peel texture, do show their share of contact marks, the contrast with the clearly frosted devices is delightful, particularly on the obverse. Any 1887 half eagle is rare and Ultra Cameo coins rarer still; this is the only PR63 Ultra Cameo certified by NGC and that service recognizes only one Ultra Cameo coin finer (11/13).
    From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P5) (PCGS# 98482)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    View all of [The collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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