The Garrett - Pittman Gem Proof 1849 Seated Dollar1849 $1 PR65 NGC. It is fair to say that every Proof Seated Liberty Silver Dollar from the decade of the 1840s is a rarity, but most numismatic students today consider this 1849 issue to be the rarest of the rare. Dave Bowers estimated a mintage of just 8 to 12 coins, and today it is probably the case that only six survive. In fact, that is exactly the number of pieces claimed by David Akers when this coin was offered as part of the Pittman Collection. Along with this coin, he recorded the following Proofs: Starr, lot 592; Eliasberg, lot 2216; Kenneth Long, lot 1219; Carter, lot 257; and the coin in a California Specialist's Collection, with prior pedigree not known at this time. Considering that five examples have been offered for sale at auction in the past year, it is entirely possible that seven or eight proofs actually survive. More research in this area is currently taking place. Like most of the Proof Seated Dollars in the 1840s, this example is from the reverse die first used in 1840, and used continuously for Proof examples through 1850. As noted, this is considered the rarest of the Proof dollars from the decade, with Proof mintages remaining extremely small through 1853. Although no explanation has been advanced previously for this diminished production, we must consider that the gold rush may have had something to do with it.
This example is a gorgeous Gem Proof with exceptional aesthetic appeal. It is sharply struck with all design definition fully delineated. The rim is fully defined, broad, and square, with a few fine raised die lines on the top surface of the obverse rim. It is a deeply mirrored proof with slight cameo contrast beneath mottled toning. Splashes and shades of red, lilac, blue, and gold are visible on both sides. A few nearly imperceptible hairlines and blemishes can only be seen with a magnifier.
From The Jack Lee Collection, III(#6990) (Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24ZZ, PCGS# 6990)
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