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    Description

    1900 Liberty Head Half Eagle, PR66 Cameo
    Reported Proof Mintage of 230 Pieces, Low Survival Rate
    Strong Cameo Contrast

    1900 $5 PR66 Cameo NGC. CAC. The Mint anticipated a large demand for proof sets in 1900, perhaps because of optimism over the new century. In his Golden Jubilee Sale (B. Max Mehl, 5/1950), lot 409, Mehl noted, "Apparently collectors began to realize the charm of collecting these beautiful gold proofs, as we note by the mint report that 230 proofs were struck." In spite of the large mintage, the largest of any Liberty Head half eagle, the date is not noticeably more common than other proofs of the era. Perhaps much of the original mintage went unsold, and was melted at the end of the year, or the issue may have had an unusually low survival rate, with a disproportionate number of examples being destroyed in the Gold Recall of the 1930s. In any case, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth estimate only 75-100 specimens are known today in all proof grades. In PR66 Cameo the date is very rare, as NGC has certified only five coins in this grade, with four finer; while PCGS has not seen any example in this category (11/09). Garrett and Guth report an unusually fine specimen, possibly Ex:Pittman, sold for $218,000 in early 2008.
    The coin offered here is an amazing specimen, with pristine fields and an even orange-gold color. The brightly reflective fields contrast boldly with the frosty devices to produce the desirable cameo effect. The Mint changed production methods in 1901, and coins minted after that date generally lack the popular cameo contrast. The only possible identifier is a tiny mark on the lower, front part of the bust truncation, and that may be too small to be useful. Overall visual appeal is exceptional.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 3YDH, PCGS# 88495)

    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 Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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