1892 Half Eagle, PR66 Ultra Cameo
    Underrated Proof Gold Issue
    Ex: Trompeter

    1892 $5 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. CAC. Ex: Trompeter. The 1892 Liberty half eagle enjoyed a relatively generous proof mintage of 92 pieces, a substantial increase over the 53 proofs struck the year before. Despite the larger production total, the 1892 proof half eagle is just as rare as the 1891 issue in today's market, suggesting that the extra coins went unsold and were melted after the end of the year. Of course, it is also possible that the 1892 issue just suffered a higher rate of attrition over the years, accounting for the elusive nature of the coins today. Either way, it is doubtful if more than 20-30 examples survive in all grades, including two coins in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and another in the collection of the American Numismatic Society. NGC and PCGS have combined to certify 36 examples between them, but this total is undoubtedly skewed by resubmissions and crossovers (5/15).

    Most memorable collections of proof gold coinage have included an example of the 1892 half eagle, including those of the Garrett family, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., John Jay Pittman, and Nathan M. Kaufman. This coin traces its history to the fabulous collection of Ed Trompeter, who formed perhaps the most complete gathering of proof gold issues of all time. This coin shows the diagnostic low date, slanting up to the right, with a closed 9 and die polish at the eye, mouth, and ear. Like many examples seen, this coin shows a touch of softness on the lovelock and the feathers on the eagle's neck, but the definition is razor-sharp in other areas. The frosty devices stand out boldly against the deeply reflective fields, creating a dramatic gold-on-black cameo effect when the coin is tilted in the light. A small horizontal lintmark on the neck, below the lovelock serves as a reliable pedigree marker. Eye appeal is tremendous. Census: 3 in 66 Ultra Cameo (1 in 66 Ultra Cameo), 2 finer (5/15).
    Ex: Ed Trompeter Collection; Heritage Auctions, circa 1998; private collection.
    From The Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 28CW, PCGS# 98487)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Ed Trompeter Collection of Proof $5 Liberties ]

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