Marvelous 1845 Dollar, PR67
    Finest of Only Three Gem Proofs

    1845 $1 PR67 NGC. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. Two different varieties of 1845 proof dollars are known, and the Kaufman Collection coin is easily the finest of either variety. In fact, only two other examples of the 14 or so pieces known fall within two points of this magnificent Superb Gem proof. To illustrate the remarkable achievement of Phil Kaufman, consider that NGC has only graded three pre-1856 Seated dollars in PR67 (1845, 1848, and 1849) and the Kaufman Collection contains all three! PCGS has not graded any dollars from this date range in PR66 or PR67.

    David Akers considers it the finest proof Seated dollar he has seen from the entire decade. Phil Kaufman's Superb Gem proof 1845 dollar is pedigreed to the John Jay Pittman Collection, where it was part of Pittman's "Complete 1845 Proof Set in Original Case."

    In his discussion of this coin, David Akers writes:

    "This proof silver dollar is essentially perfect and is unquestionably the finest proof dollar of the decade that I have ever seen. It is fully struck with a sharp square edge and deep mirror fields that are immaculate and pristine. The few lines present in the fields are actually planchet lines that were not eliminated by the minting process; they are not hairlines. The toning is as extraordinary and perfect as the technical quality of the surfaces, a superb medium multicolored iridescent blend of reddish-gold, which is the predominant color, and considerate violet and blue. Every star is boldly defined with all of its radial lines, and the head and foot of Liberty are extremely sharp. All of the eagle's features and talons are also fully struck."

    In addition to Akers' thorough description of this marvelous coin, we would note that the mildly frosted motifs stand out against the mirrored fields at all angles, but especially when the coin is tilted under a light source. We would also mention that the reddish-gold color alluded to by Akers dominates the central areas of both sides. This patina gives way to golden-brown, violet, and cobalt-blue at the borders. The surfaces are essentially perfect, with an entire absence of pedigree markers on either side.

    Two varieties of the proof 1845 dollars are known. Variety 1 has a recut date with 84 doubled. The shield point is above the serif of the 1, left of the upright. The reverse is the proof die of 1840. Variety 2 has a normal date with the shield point above the upright of the 1. The reverse is the same proof die of 1840.

    The following roster is ordered by quality, with the specific variety of each piece identified. Most of the following 14 examples are lower quality, including impaired pieces. The Superb Gem Kaufman coin stands above all others.

    1. PR67 NGC. Variety 1. The Kaufman coin. F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1945), lot 133; 1949 ANA Convention Sale, lot 223; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1711, as part of a complete 1845 proof set, the Seated Liberty coins kept intact by Phil Kaufman.

    2. PR66 NGC. Variety 1. Lester Merkin (9/1968), lot 340; Butterfield, Johnson, Gillio (1/1996), lot 3692; Heritage (10/1999), lot 5319; Morris Silverman Collection (Heritage, 4/2002), lot 4073; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1006; Bowers and Merena (8/2006), lot 2349. Note: In his Proof Encyclopedia, Breen recorded the following: "Baldenhofer, Ostheimer; LM 9/68: 140." The auction of the Baldenhofer Collection (Stack's, 11/1955) did not include a proof 1845 dollar. The record of lot 140 in the Merkin sale is certainly a typographical error for lot 340.

    3. PR65 NGC. Variety 2. Heritage (6/1987), lot 4372; Superior (1/1989), lot 4696; David Akers (Auction '89, 7/1989), lot 1153; Kenneth C. Long Estate (Bowers and Merena, 5/1995), lot 1215; Superior (1/2004), lot 2564; Jack Lee Collection; Heritage (1/2006), lot 11605; Heritage (2/2006), lot 23394.

    4. PR64 NGC. Variety 1. Goldberg Coins (5/2001), lot 863; Goldberg Coins (2/2002), lot 1199; Heritage (7/2002), lot 8783.

    5. PR64 NGC. Variety 1. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2209; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1510; Jack Lee Collection; Heritage (11/2005), lot 2232.

    6. Choice Proof. Variety 1. James A. Stack, Sr. (Stack's, 3/1995), lot 179.

    7. PR62 PCGS. Variety 1. Stack's (10/1963), lot 1138; Superior (6/1977), lot 986a; L.R. French, Jr. Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1989), lot 23; Heritage (8/1995), lot 6551; Dr. John L. Pellegrini Collection (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10261.

    8. PR61 PCGS. Variety 1. Goldberg Coins (10/2000), lot 1777; Heritage (1/2001), lot 5315; American Numismatic Rarities (5/2005), lot 332.

    9. Proof. Variety 1. Amon Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 251.

    10. Proof. Variety 2. Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 261.

    11. Proof. Variety 2. Smithsonian Institution.

    12. PR55 PCGS. Variety 2. American Numismatic Rarities (3/2005), lot 227.

    13. PR55 ANACS. Variety 1. Heritage (8/1998), lot 8192.

    14. PR50 SEGS. Variety 1. Superior (10/2000), lot 3521.

    Additional Appearances: Most of the following were not illustrated

    A. Proof. Variety 1. Cass Collection (Empire, Stack's 11/1957), lot 1727.

    C. Proof. Variety 2. Davis-Graves (Stack's, 4/1954), lot 1343. This is variety 2 according to Walter Breen, but was not illustrated in the Stack's catalog.

    F. Proof. Variety unknown. Col. E.H.R. Green; Jack Roe (B. Max Mehl, 6/1945), lot 441; Frederic Geiss (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 339 [possibly the Amon Carter specimen].

    G. Proof. Variety unknown. Kern Collection (Golden Jubilee Sale, B. Max Mehl, 5/1950), lot 815.

    H. Proof. Variety unknown. David Golding (Stack's, 6/1952), lot 236.

    B. PR60 SEGS. Variety 1. Heritage (8/2000), lot 5288.

    D. PR55 PCGS. Variety unknown. Kingswood (4/1999), lot 222. This is probably the same as the similarly certified example of variety 2, number 12 in the list above.
    From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24ZV, PCGS# 6986)

    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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