Attractively Toned 1841 Select Proof Dollar

    1841 $1 PR63 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. Just seven proof dollars of 1841 are listed in our roster, and two of those are impaired. This piece from the Kaufman Collection is the second finest known, by only a slight margin behind the Pittman specimen. The proof dollars of 1841 are extremely rare. Breen (1988) listed only seven specimens known. David Bowers, in his Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States, estimated a proof mintage of 10 to 15 pieces, and the extant population to be five to nine specimens. Bowers writes "The 1841 Proof dollar is viewed today as one of the great Proof rarities in the series. Typically, a decade or more may elapse between auction offerings of authentic Proofs." The certified population of 1841 dollars currently stands at five examples. NGC has graded four pieces PR63, and PCGS has reported a PR64.

    Our own research into auction records resulted in the following roster of 1841 proof dollars:
    1. PR64 PCGS. Hollinbeck Coin Co. (2/1953), lot 29; John J. Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1672; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1506; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1002.

    2. PR63 NGC. The Kaufman specimen. George B. Hussey (J.C. Morgenthau, 3/1940), lot 123; Floyd T. Starr (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 581; Superior (7/1993), lot 553, $14,850; Kenneth C. Long (Bowers and Merena, 5/1995), lot 1211.

    3. PR63 NGC Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2205; Dr. John L. Pellegrini (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10257.

    4. Proof. Col. E.H.R. Green; Jack Roe (B. Max Mehl, 6/1945), lot 435; Jerome Kern; Golden Jubilee Sale (B. Max Mehl, 5/1950), lot 811; Amon Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 247.

    5. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.

    6. Impaired Proof.
    Stack's (9/1987), lot 1493.

    7. Impaired Proof. Stack's (9/1972), lot 992.

    Additional Appearances:
    A. Haseltine Type Table; Davis-Graves Collection (Stack's, 2/1954), lot 1338. Not plated. Described as "Proof. Very small stars. Very rare. From Haseltine Collection."
    B. Waldo Newcomer; F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1945), lot 128.
    C. Virgil Brand Estate; J.H. South (Stack's, 5/1951), lot 803.
    D. David Golding (Stack's, 6/1952). Possibly the same as A.
    E. 1962 New York Metropolitan (Stack's, 1/1962), lot 1624.
    F. Harmer Rooke (8/1987), $3,520.
    G. Superior (1/1988), lot 2235. This piece is described by Superior as "Possible Proof 60." The catalog plate (color and black and white) does not suggest a proof coin.

    The Select specimen from the Kaufman cabinet exhibits delightful deep blue-gray toning in the obverse fields that sets off the champagne-blue central device, while the reverse fields display a mélange of blue, violet, and lavender that highlights the mostly champagne-gold central motif. The contrast is further aided by a fair amount of reflectivity in the fields. A well executed strike translates into sharp definition on the design elements, including the star radials, Liberty's sandal, and the eagle's plumage. There are no mentionable contact marks; indeed, the only pedigree identifier is an as-made "S" shaped lint mark to the right of the top-most arrowhead. Some faint, inoffensive hairlines in the fields keep this gorgeous specimen from being designated a higher grade.
    From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24ZR, PCGS# 6982)

    Weight: 26.73 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 Two ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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