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    The Pittman Collection 1891 Proof Half Eagle

    1891 $5 PR66 Deep Cameo NGC. The mintage of half eagles at the Philadelphia Mint was limited to just 61,360 business strikes and 53 proofs in 1891. High quality survivors in either format are rare. This example, a glorious Cameo proof is one of the finest. Walter Breen identified examples with attenuated tail feathers above the branch as proof coins, although business strikes are also known from the same reverse die. One such example is lot 1256 in the October 1999 sale of the Bass Collection. Regarding proofs of this date, it is the consensus of most numismatists that only about 25 to 30 examples still exist, and most of these are in lower grades.
    The example that is now offered is clearly and obviously a proof strike, with extraordinary design details, deeply mirrored fields, lustrous devices, and exceptional contrast. The fields exhibit a slight orange-peel effect that is characteristic of proof coins from this era. Although close inspection reveals a few faint hairlines, there are no significant surface marks on either side. The color is deep yellow-gold with faint greenish tendencies. A small lint mark in the left reverse field, just above the branch, is shaped like a backward question mark, and positively identifies this example as the Pittman Collection specimen. This glittering proof is a coin that will be appreciated by the connoisseur of proof gold coinage.
    Ex: Dr. Charles Green Collection sale (B. Max Mehl, 4/1949), lot 319; John Jay Pittman Collection (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 1052.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 28CV, PCGS# 98486)

    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 Dates
    August, 2006
    13th-14th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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