The Finest Known 1839 Ten Cent, PR661839 10C No Drapery PR66 NGC. Ex: Lovejoy-Kaufman. This extraordinarily scarce 1839 dime is a featured rarity in the Kaufman collection. Purchased from the Allen F. Lovejoy Collection its one the finest of five or six known proofs. Indeed, it is two full points better than the second-place entry in our roster, although one other coin appears on the NGC Census Report as PR65.
NGC and PCGS have reported a total of six 1839 proof dimes, including possible resubmissions. The NGC-graded PR66 Kaufman example is the finest certified, followed by an NGC PR65. That service has also certified a PR62 specimen. PCGS has graded two pieces as PR64, and one as PR62.
Our roster of five different examples is in line with estimates of previous authors. Walter Breen estimates "possibly three proofs" in his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins (1988), and the Bowers and Merena cataloger of the Eliasberg specimen (referenced below) suggests three to five known examples.
1. PR66 NGC. The Kaufman coin. 1976 ANA Sale (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 816; Allen F. Lovejoy (Stack's, 10/1990), lot 184. It is fascinating that the physical coin matches both plates, but the two plates do not seem to match when compared side-by-side.
2. PR64 PCGS. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (Bowers and Merena, 5/1996), lot 1114; Long Beach Connoisseur Collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/1999), lot 103; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 3/2005), lot 1234.
3. Choice Proof. Hans M.F. Schulman (4/1951), lot 1206; Stack's (1/1991), lot 203.
4. PR64. Superior (6/2002), lot 4157. This piece has a carbon spot in the upper reverse field.
5. PR62 PCGS. Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3546.
A. New Netherlands (47th Sale), lot 1629, impaired according to Walter Breen.
B. Virgil Brand; New Netherlands (12/1958), lot 444. This example does not appear to match any of those listed above, and is possibly a sixth specimen.
Medium cobalt-blue toning resides in the open fields of this lovely Premium Gem, changing to violet hues in the areas immediately adjacent to the design elements. The devices are mostly silver-gray, with occasional splashes of blue, especially on the Liberty motif. In addition to the alluring coloration of the impeccably preserved surfaces, a bold strike imparts excellent definition to the design elements. The only identification mark is concealed within the toning beneath the O in ONE.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three. (NGC ID# 23BR, PCGS# 4722)
Weight: 2.67 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three ]
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