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    Awesome 1891 Half Eagle PR66 Ultra Cameo, Ex: Pittman

    1891 $5 PR66 Ultra 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. In fact, the number of proof survivors may actually be smaller, based on past appearances in Heritage sales and offerings of other firms. The Bass, Eliasberg, Pittman, Garrett, and Norweb Collections each had an example, and two are held in the Smithsonian Institution. Ed Trompeter's came from Norweb, and few other auction appearances are noted over many years.
    The example that is now offered is clearly and obviously a proof striking, 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 deeply 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 105.(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
    April, 2007
    9th-10th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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