1840 Seated Liberty Dollar, PR64
1840 $1 PR64 Cameo PCGS. CAC. According to David Akers in
the John Jay Pittman Collection, Part II (Akers, 5/1998), lot
Only Certified Cameo Specimen
Little-Known Reverse Die
"In addition to the 10 or so Proofs struck for inclusion in the Proof sets of 1840, it is estimated that an additional 10-15 Proof 1840 dollars were minted for sale on an individual basis."
The importance of a proof dollar from 1840 will not be lost on most bidders, as any coin with a mintage of 20-25 pieces will be very rare today, especially in higher grades. In fact, PCGS has only certified two other pieces as PR64, with this coin in PR64 Cameo, none finer. Meanwhile, NGC has graded seven coins in near-Gem condition, with four finer at PR65. Importantly, this is the only proof 1840 dollar of any grade to carry the Cameo designation from either service (3/13).
Akers also comments:
"Like all of the Proof Liberty Seated Dollars from 1840-1850, this coin was struck from a reverse die which has defects on the outside of the right leg of the final A in AMERICA as well as on the inside of the right leg at the crossbar. (This gives the crossbar the appearance of being "broken".) This die was never used to mint business strikes, only the Proofs from 1840-1850."
In his series reference, Q. David Bowers also states that a single reverse proof die is known for this period, but the reverse of this coin does not have the defects noted by both researchers on the final A. Other diagnostics differ as well.
We first noted an 1840 proof dollar that was struck from this previously
unrecorded reverse die in the 2002 Central States Sale. To recap the diagnostics, we noted that:
1. The first crossbar in the shield extends into the eagle's left (facing) wing.
2. The final element of stripe 2, and the first and third elements of stripe 3
penetrate the innermost shield border.
3. The final two elements of stripe 1 penetrate solidly to crossbar 5.
4. The first element of stripe 2 penetrates to crossbar 2.
Walter Breen had noted in his proof book that another reverse existed for the 1840 Seated dollar proofs, with much smaller defects on the final A than the other die. This information was discounted by Bowers, but it may be that Breen examined one of the coins we have seen with this reverse. Breen speculated that this reverse was used for originals and the other die might have been used on restrikes. The situation remains unclear.
Another coin struck from this reverse showed up in lot 6367 of the Pittsburgh ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2004). The present coin differs from that piece in that it does not show the reverse die rust seen on that coin. This circumstance means it is far from certain whether this die was used to strike originals or restrikes. It may well be that both were struck from this die, this being an earlier, unrusted version, and the ANA coin having been struck from the die after it had lain around the Mint for a while and rust accumulated on the surface.
The fields on this piece are remarkably deep and shimmer with mirror-like reflectivity. The devices are lightly frosted but do provide a pleasing contrast on each side. Only the slightest hairlines are detectable with a magnifier, and most of each side is untoned with deeper accents of russet and cobalt-blue toning scattered around the margins. An extremely rare Cameo Seated dollar in proof format, and a rare opportunity to acquire an 1840 in such a superior grade.
Ex: Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2005), lot 7397.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part III. (NGC ID# 24ZP, PCGS# 86981)
View all of [The Greensboro Collection, Part III ]
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