Description

    Gorgeous Gem Cameo Proof 1889 Half Eagle

    1889 $5 PR65 Cameo NGC. The 1889 half eagle proof issue closes a decade of interesting and remarkable dates. Production of proofs grew from 36 pieces in 1880 to a comparatively impressive 95 coins in 1888, though an informal census of the two issues does not suggest that the existing population of the latter exceeds that of the former by more than a handful of survivors. The 1887 is a famous proof-only issue, and in light of the meager four-figure production runs for the business strikes of 1889 and 1890, it is little wonder that numismatists accord those two issues a premium in proof format.
    The stated mintage for proof five dollar gold pieces took an anomalous dip in 1889, to just 45 pieces; though production would rise and fall in the following decades, it would never again plunge to so low a number. Garrett and Guth (2006) write about this issue: "There are probably just 15 to 20 coins traced today, including those in tightly held collections and museums. Most of the coins offered at auction have been in PF-64 condition ... Gems are very rare, as are most of the Proof half eagles of the 1880s."
    In their survey of auction records from 1991 to 2005, Garrett and Guth identified only 11 auction appearances for this issue, and most of those pieces fell below the standard set by this delightful exemplar. Its gleaming canary-gold fields hold ample mirrors, and the pale, delicately frosted portrait supplies distinct, if not absolute contrast. On the reverse, a starker black-and-gold effect appears. A decisively struck, carefully preserved, and eminently appealing representative. Census: 2 in 65 Cameo, 1 finer (1/08).
    From The Ultra Collection.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# 28CT, PCGS# 88484)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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    March, 2008
    6th-7th Thursday-Friday
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