1887 Half Eagle, PR64 Cameo
1887 $5 PR64 Cameo PCGS. The half eagle and double eagle
denominations were only produced in proof format in 1887, creating
instant rarities for date collectors to compete over. The half
eagle mintage was a mere 87 pieces, but even that small figure
fails to convey the true rarity of this issue in today's market.
Some examples may have gone unsold, to be melted after the close of
the year. Other specimens were undoubtedly mishandled or spent for
face value, as this issue is seen more often in impaired condition
than any other date from the 19th century. Experts estimate 35-40
examples are extant in all grades, but NGC and PCGS have combined
to certify only 27 coins in unimpaired condition (7/11).
Prized Proof-Only Issue
Ex: Amon Carter
Examples with the Cameo designation are especially rare. A search of auction records over the last two decades reveals only eight appearances of the 1887 with Cameo surfaces, and several of these citations are probably duplicate appearances. The spectacular PR65 Cameo NGC example in lot 5131 of the FUN Signature Auction (Heritage, 1/2011) realized $126,500.
The coin offered here traces its pedigree to the fabled Amon Carter Collection, a two-generation family holding, famous for the quality and extent of its contents. The plastic envelope from that auction accompanies the coin in this lot. The design elements are razor-sharp, with rich mint frost. The fields are brightly mirrored and the field/device contrast is profound. Only a few hairlines are evident, but there is some cloudy patina in the greenish-gold fields. The prized orange-peel texture is evident on the surfaces and visual appeal is quite strong. Population: 3 in 64 Cameo, 1 finer (7/11).
Ex: Amon Carter Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 669.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 3YPF, PCGS# 88482)
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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