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    1895 Liberty Half Eagle, PR66 Deep Cameo
    Only 81 Pieces Struck
    Outstanding Registry Set Candidate

    1895 $5 PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS. Only 81 proof Liberty half eagles were struck in 1895, a minute production total in absolute terms, but not unusually small in the context of the series. It seems likely that the coins sold well, as the Mint raised the mintage to 103 pieces the following year. Unfortunately, the mid-1890s were not banner years for coin collecting in general. Many of the great collectors of the late 19th century were either recently dead (T. Harrison Garrett and R.C. Davis) or getting out of coins (Lorin G. Parmelee) and the great gold collectors of the early 20th century, like Virgil Brand and William H. Woodin, were just starting to hit their stride as collectors. The Panic of 1893 had far-reaching economic effects, including the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which drastically reduced the number of Morgan dollars the U.S. Mint produced every year. These and other factors had a dampening effect on coin collecting during that era.

    Although gold proofs were known to be rare, they were not held in high esteem by the average collector at the turn of the century. They could be obtained for face value, plus a small surcharge and shipping cost from the Mint every year, but the average collector could not afford to tie up large amounts of money in an extensive gold collection. Proofs brought only modest premiums when offered at auction. The complete four-piece gold proof set of 1895 offered in lot 355 of the David S. Wilson Collection (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907) brought only $60, and that was one of the better results of that decade. During hard times, owners of gold proofs were often reduced to spending the coins at face value or selling them to bullion brokers for a small profit. As a result, only a fraction of the original mintage of any 19th century gold proof coin still exists today. The 1895 proof Liberty half eagle has a surviving population of about 20-25 examples in all grades.

    The present coin is a spectacular Premium Gem, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements. The devices are richly frosted and the fields are deeply mirrored, creating a stunning black-on-gold cameo flash when the coin is tilted in the light. The vivid orange-gold surfaces are impeccably preserved and eye appeal is terrific. This coin will be a welcome addition to a fine collection or Registry Set. Population: 2 in 66 Deep Cameo, 1 finer (6/16).(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 28CZ, PCGS# 98490)

    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, 2016
    10th-14th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 341

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