Description

    Branch Mint Proof 1879-O Dollar, One of Only Four Pieces Known

    1879-O $1 PR64 Cameo NGC. The 1879-O branch mint proof Dollar is undoubtedly one of the best known of all branch mint proofs. The existence of these coins has been known since 1880 or so, but they were largely forgotten until rediscovered more than 25 years ago. Allegedly twelve proofs were struck on February 20, 1879 to commemorate the reopening of the mint after being shut down in 1861. Today only four pieces are known. This is the #1 specimen as listed in Wayne Miller's second edition of his Morgan and Peace Dollar Textbook, page 219.
    The diagnostics of this branch mint proof were published in the October 9, 1995 issue of Coin World, and include:

    Obverse: 1. The back of the truncation of the neck was overpolished, leaving an "island" of metal.

    2. Faint traces of die rust appear on NUM of UNUM. The other peripheral devices appear to have been polished to remove rust, leaving a beveled appearance to some, such as P, I, and S of PLURIBUS.

    Reverse: 1. Incomplete die polishing between the leaf clusters and behind the eagle's head.

    2. Spot of die rust between the first tail feather and the second leaf below.

    3. Lump of die rust at the juncture of the middle arrow shaft and arrowhead.

    4. Spur of metal below the juncture of the right (facing) wing and leg.

    5. Faint evidence of die rust on the letters in STATES.

    The 1879-O is unique among branch mint proof Dollars in that it was struck from dies not listed in VAM and not used on regular production coins. This piece is brilliant throughout and the fields are indistinguishable from a regular Philadelphia proof of this year. The devices are nicely frosted and provide a noticeable contrast against the deep reflectivity in the fields.
    Ex:1973 Central States Auction (RARCOA, 5/73), lot 302; Auction '79 (RARCOA's session, 7/79), lot 1046; Wayne Miller; Bruce Amspacher; Fred Sweeney; Anita Maxwell Trust of Silver Dollars; 1995 ANA Sale (Heritage, 8/95), lot 7502, where it realized $37,400. (NGC ID# 27Z3, PCGS# 7345)

    Weight: 26.73 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2002
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
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