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    1887 Half Eagle, PR65 Cameo
    Rare, Proof-Only Date

    1887 $5 PR65 Cameo NGC. The 1887 five dollar was only struck in proof format, and the production run was an easy-to-remember 87 pieces. Garrett-Guth state: " ... most did not survive. Many probably entered circulation, as this date has the largest number of impaired examples seen for Proof issues of the 1880s. Several Proofs may have been retrieved from circulation once the rarity of the date became known." The population data backs this up with six pieces certified from PR53 to PR58. With the coins that were dropped into circulation, several of which have obviously not survived, the actual number of survivors is lower than one would expect for a date with a similar mintage and business strike production. Probably only 20-25 individual examples are extant in non-Cameo, Cameo, and Ultra Cameo.
    Gem examples of the 1887 five dollar have always been in great demand. Of course, collectors of the five dollar Liberty series need an example. But the demand goes beyond that. The proof-only status paired with the low survivorship has propelled Gem specimens into the "trophy coin" category. There will always be great demand for a high-grade 1887 five dollar.
    The surfaces on this piece show even, light reddish-gold color and the deeply mirrored fields show the rippling orange-peel texture usually seen on proof gold from the latter half of the 19th century. Flaws useful for pedigree purposes are few indeed. The only one that might be viewable in a previous auction photo is a tiny planchet flake in the right obverse field between star 12 and the trailing hair curls. Our records show that this is the first Gem 1887 to appear at public auction since 2006 (in a Bowers and Merena auction), and before that was the Byron Reed coin in 1996. The tiny planchet flaw does not appear in the photos of either sale, leading us to conclude it has a different lineage.(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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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 518

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    We also followed the bidding online yesterday here in Salt Lake for the other 3 coins - great fun. Prices realized met or exceeded our expectations.
    Thomas M.,
    Salt Lake City, UT
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