Glittering 1842 Gem Proof Dollar
1842 $1 PR65 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. The exquisite 1842 Seated
Liberty proof dollar from the Phil Kaufman Collection ranks among
the finest known examples. 1842 proofs are more frequently seen
than the previous year's proof dollars, and are only marginally
more available than the 1840 date. Numismatists vary somewhat,
however, in their estimates of surviving 1842 proof dollars. David
Akers, for example, suggests a population of 10 to 12 coins in the
Pittman catalog; David Bowers, in his 2006 A Buyer's Guide to
Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States,
estimates seven to 14 specimens; and Weimar White, in his 1985
Liberty Seated Dollar reference, suggests fewer than 10
Considered the Finest Known
Our allusion to the Kaufman 1842 proof dollar as possibly the finest known example relates to NGC's certification of two PR65 coins. The question arises as to whether the second specimen resides in a private collection that as yet has escaped public notice, or is a resubmission of the Kaufman coin, which would then rank it as the finest. In addition to the two PR65 submissions, NGC has seen a PR64, three PR63s, a PR62, and a PR61. PCGS has certified a PR64 and a PR62. Again, some of these are likely resubmissions.
Based on the estimates of previous researchers and on the number of certified examples, it is possible that from one to three other examples remain unrecognized in our roster:
1. PR65 NGC. The Kaufman specimen. The Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3780.
2. PR63 NGC. Dr. John L. Pellegrini (Heritage ANA Sale, 7/2005), lot 10258; FUN Sale (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 1059.
3. PR62 PCGS. Lester Merkin (10/1969), lot 376; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1673; Morris Silverman (Heritage, 4/2002), lot 4072; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 5/2004), lot 253; 2006 ANA (Bowers and Merena, 8/2006), lot 2345.
4. PR61 NGC. Richmond Collection, Part III (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1507.
5. PR58. Superior (9/2002), lot 1067.
6. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
7. Proof. American Numismatic Society.
The Kaufman coin is a glittering Gem with superb golden-tan patina imbued with blushes of sky-blue, lilac, russet, and purple. Mirrored fields offer moderate contrast with the motifs at all angles of observation, but mostly when the coin is rotated just slightly beneath a light source. A solid strike brings out sharp definition on the design elements, leaving no areas with even the slightest hint of weakness. A couple of minute milling marks to the left of the upper left (facing) shoulder of Liberty, along with a tick concealed in the hair at the top right of Liberty's head, may help identify the piece for future catalogers.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24ZS, PCGS# 6983)
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 Three ]
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