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    1894 Liberty Five Dollar, PR66 Ultra Cameo
    Tied for Second-Finest Known

    1894 $5 PR66 Ultra Cameo NGC. By 1894, silver was slumping and the financial markets struggled to recover from the economic depression of 1893. The Free Silver movement and the Silver Question were political hot potatoes, and William Jennings Bryan ran for the senate on a platform of unlimited government purchases of silver. (He lost.) Partially to offset the outflow of gold coins to Europe, the total mintage of gold coinage in all denominations approached $80 million for 1894, including 957,880 half eagles at the Philadelphia Mint. Still, just 75 proofs were produced.

    Breen, Akers, and Garrett/Guth all agree that the 1894 issue is the rarest Liberty Head proof dated 1892 to 1907. Perhaps only 20 to 30 examples survive today in all grades, and some of those are in institutional hands. The number of high-grade proofs with Deep Cameo or Ultra Cameo finish is a startlingly small percentage of the proofs -- just one piece is reported are at PCGS in PR64 Deep Cameo or finer (a sole PR64+ Deep Cameo) and 10 coins grade PR64 Ultra Cameo or finer at NGC (the finest are two PR66 coins and one PR67 ★ in Ultra Cameo).

    The present coin is currently tied for the second-finest proof with deep-mirrored, high-contrast motifs. A slight "orange peel" texture to the fields suggest an early strike, as do the sharply defined motifs. The raised devices are smoothly frosted and stand in bold contrast to the reflective fields, with medium-gold patina and a virtual absence of any contact, spots, or other distractions. A glass reveals a minimum of delicate lines or lintmarks. Indeed, the lack of any distinguishing marks makes the task of confirming this coin's exact provenance uncertain. What is certain is the undeniable quality of this Premium Gem Ultra Cameo proof, the scarcity of the issue, and the unsurpassable visual impact. Census: 2 in 66 Ultra Cameo, 1 finer (7/15).(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 28CY, PCGS# 98489)

    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
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 589

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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.
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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