Wondrous 1904 Liberty Five, PR67 Cameo

    1904 $5 PR67 Cameo NGC. This is the finest 1904 proof Liberty half eagle that we have offered in any of our sales, the previous best being a PR66 Cameo piece. The amazing yellow-gold surfaces have deeply mirrored fields tending toward pale green on the reverse. The field to device contrast is immediately obvious with only a casual glance. The surfaces are only a few planchet flakes short of pristine. Design motifs on both sides are exceptional in their detail.
    The best certified examples include one PR68 Cameo NGC; four PR67 Cameo NGC coins (including this piece); nine PR66 Cameo NGC coins; and one PR66 Cameo PCGS example. The average grade of all 1904 proof half eagles certified by NGC and PCGS is just 62.6. Neither service has ever certified a Deep or Ultra Cameo proof, and the ratio of Cameo to non-Cameo proofs is 68 to 53, or about 56% Cameo specimens. The current certified population of 121 NGC and PCGS coins is just 15 pieces shy of the original mintage of 136 proofs, yet we believe that only about 50 to 60 different pieces actually survive today.
    Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth concur with our survival estimate, suggesting a total population of 50 to 75 coins. The write: "Most of the coins seen are deeply mirrored, and they lack the frosted devices seen on most of the examples struck before 1902. Although a few superb coins are known, most of the coins grade PF-64 at best. High-grade Proof half eagles are very rare, regardless of the date. The John Jay Pittman example is one of the finest offered in recent years." We feel that the present coin exceeds even the Pittman specimen. Although a single finer example is NGC certified, we think that the offering of this coin represents the second or third finest example in existence.
    Census: 4 in 67 Cameo, 1 finer (4/08).(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 28DA, PCGS# 88499)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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    Auction Dates
    May-Jun, 2008
    28th-2nd Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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