1896 Half Eagle, PR66 Deep Cameo
    A Coin of Remarkable Quality and Contrast

    1896 $5 PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS. CAC. It is not only the silver dollars of 1896 and 1898, but also the gold proof coins of those years, that are renowned as among the most high-quality and well-produced coins of their respective types. Perhaps it is because of the legions of Morgan collectors that the silver dollars have earned such a reputation, since there are considerably fewer collectors who can even dream of specializing in proof gold. But it is nonetheless true that the gold proof coins of 1896 and 1898 (and often, 1897 as well) deserve special attention, often more than they achieve.
    The present Premium Gem proof Deep Cameo PCGS half eagle is a fitting complement to the Liberty Head eagle in the same grade also offered in this Platinum Night auction. The mintage of the half eagle is recorded as 103 pieces versus only 78 for the eagle, but the half eagle also has a reputation of being "much rarer than its mintage suggests," according to the Breen Proof Encyclopedia.
    More recently, Garrett and Guth have added similar comments in their Gold Encyclopedia, second edition:

    "Although the mintage tops 100 coins for the first time, the 1896 half eagle is still a very rare coin in Proof. There are only 25 to 30 coins known in all grades. Many of these are graded PF-64, and gem examples are quite uncommon."

    As on its eagle counterpart, this half eagle has surfaces that "fade to black" with a slight tilt, producing the coveted gold-on-black appearance of proof gold that collectors so admire, and one that the 1896-98 coins are especially renowned for. A few tiny signs of contact on Liberty's neck are all that may preclude an even finer grade. The strike is full over surfaces that display orange-gold coloration throughout.
    PCGS has seen only three submissions in the quite uncommon grade of PR66 Deep Cameo, and there are none finer (2/12). NGC has seen four submissions in PR66, with two finer. This piece and the companion eagle in the same grade would make a wonderful start on a complete proof set of the year.
    From The William D. Plumley Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 56BA, PCGS# 98491)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View all of [The William D. Plumley Collection ]

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  | PCGS Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,112

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 April 20 - 24 CCE World Coins Signature Auction - Chicago.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your individual dedication to the hobby, and that of Heritage.
    David C.,
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 November 2 - 4 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 November 2 - 4 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $9,915,667
    2017 September 7 - 12 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    2017 September 7 - 12 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    REALIZED $5,398,244
    2017 November 1 - 2 Eric P. Newman VIII Currency Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 November 1 - 2 Eric P. Newman VIII Currency Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,987,881