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    1853 Arrows Dime, PR66+
    The Finest of Five Traced Examples
    From the Kaufman and Gardner Collections

    1853 10C Arrows PR66+ PCGS. CAC. F-101. This is the finest certified 1853 proof Arrows dime, previously from the Kaufman and Gardner collections. While the number and timing of proof strikes has long been debated, it is generally agreed just five Arrows and two No Arrows proof dimes were manufactured. The current roster has not changed significantly in rank or known examples over the past fifteen or so years (see below).

    All genuine proofs show a diagnostic die lump above Liberty's right breast, and a smaller, less noticeable one near the right elbow. Proofs always display die clashing and spikelike artifacts beneath Liberty's chin -- apparently, an unfinished area of the die.

    Earlier literature has suggested that the 1853 proofs are unintentional or "accidental" pieces struck from dies that were resurfaced and polished to remove clash marks. We disagree, as die resurfacing would almost certainly remove the shallow relief elements that are bold on known proofs. Gerry Fortin makes a valid observation that the Fortin-120 obverse is of special interest. The date position is the same as the proofs, and the die lump above Liberty's breast and the one on the elbow are present, as is the unfinished die area beneath Liberty's chin. The date position is the same as the proofs -- in fact, all diagnostics appear the same, except for the presence of die clashing. Might the proofs have been struck late in the year from the Fortin-120 die pair after it clashed, and that these dies were later prepared for proofs with a careful but non-effacing polishing? If so, Fortin-101 may be a late die state of the Fortin-120 dies.

    Each side of this Premium Gem proof dime exhibits boldly struck design elements and deeply mirrored fields, along with a melange of medium-intensity champagne toning splashed with whispers of aqua-blue, brown, and violet. The obverse shows slightly lighter hues than the reverse. This well-cared-for specimen displays pleasing overall eye appeal, appropriately recognized by CAC.

    1853 Arrows Proof Dime Roster
    1. PR66+ PCGS. Kaufman Collection / ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2007), lot 1784; Greensboro Collection, Part 1 / ANA National Money Show (Heritage, 10/2012), lot 3951; Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part 1 (Heritage, 6/2014 as PR66 NGC), lot 30290; Houston Money Show (Heritage, 12/2014), lot 3519. The present coin.
    2. PR65 PCGS. John Jay Pittman Collection (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 615; Bob Simpson; unknown intermediaries; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 4072; Regency Auction XIV (Legend, 10/2015), lot 245.
    3. PR65 NGC. Superior (10/2000), lot 4345. The cataloger implies that this is the Pittman coin when he states that it is the finer of two known proofs, identifying the Norweb coin as the other one. However, the plate clearly shows an entirely different coin from either of those pieces.
    4. PR63 NGC. Hollinbeck Coin Co. (6/1953), lot 1997; Norweb Collection (Bowers 10/1987), lot 484; Lovejoy Collection (Stack's, 10/1990), lot 270.
    5. Choice Proof. Kamal Ahwash (8/1981); unknown; Stack's (3/1996), lot 276. (NGC ID# 23CE, PCGS# 4742)

    Weight: 2.49 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    3rd-6th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,381

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