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    Amazing 1898 Liberty Head Half Eagle
    PR67 Ultra Cameo

    1898 $5 PR67 Ultra Cameo NGC. Anyone constructing a Condition Census of 1898 proof half eagles would have to place this specimen on the list of candidates. NGC has certified only three coins at the exalted Superb Gem proof level, with three pieces finer; while PCGS has graded one example in PR67 Deep Cameo, with none finer (6/09). The coin offered here is in exclusive company indeed.
    The last years of the 19th century were an era of near perfection in the art of proof coinage. The coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint in the 1890s were technically superior to any previous issues, and they hold their own with the wonderful proof examples produced today. Advanced collectors actively supported the Mint's program by ordering proof sets every year to keep their collections current with the finest examples of contemporary coinage available. Auction catalogs of the early 20th century are replete with lot descriptions of gold proof sets. For example, in the Zabriskie Collection (S.H. and H. Chapman, 6/1909), lot 470 reads, "1898 Gold proof set, $20, $10, $5, $2 1/2. Extremely rare. Set." The lot realized $45, a good price at the time, as the coins were only 11 years old. Unfortunately, the advent of the unpopular matte proof format in the early 20th century brought this era to a close.
    Only 75 proof half eagles were coined in 1898, a significant drop from the year before. Experts estimate 30-40 specimens survive today, with the present coin one of the finest examples. The sharp gold-on-black contrast between the strongly impressed devices and the pristine fields has earned the coveted Ultra Cameo designation. The bright yellow-gold surfaces exhibit the characteristic orange-peel texture of proofs of this era. Overall visual appeal is stunning.
    From The Bay State Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 28D4, PCGS# 98493)

    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 Bay State Collection, Part Two ]

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    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2009
    31st-2nd Friday-Sunday
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