Kaufman's Majestic 1850 Seated Dollar
1850 $1 PR66 ★ Cameo NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. Although the
surviving population of proof 1850 silver dollars is higher than
earlier years, it is an extremely rare issue with cameo contrast.
Phil Kaufman's proof 1850 dollar is the finest of about 20 proofs
known, the only Premium Gem that carries NGC's Star designation. It
is also identified as a Cameo proof, one of just two pieces so
PR66 ★ Cameo
The Kaufman coin is the variety with the open 5 in the date, which also has the base of the 0 double-punched and die file marks at the rim below 50. Bowers indicates that other Open 5 specimens include the Garrett Collection coin (now in the American Numismatic Society Collection) and the Floyd T. Starr Collection piece. A later die state of the Open 5 variety displays a heavy crack through the base of the date.
Bowers recognizes a second variety of the 1850 proof dollar--the closed 5 that lacks repunching at the base of 0 in 1850. The reverse exhibits die file marks filling most of the shield interstices. Two arrows are joined, and faint die cracks are usually seen through ON of ONE and TED of UNITED. Bowers notes that the Byron Reed 1850 proof dollar is of this variety.
Following is a roster of 1850 proof dollars based on a comprehensive review of available plated auction catalogs:
1. PR66 ★ Cameo. The present coin, which appears to match none of the specimens listed below. Phil Kaufman Collection (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 1152.
2. PR66 NGC. T.J. Schaeffer, Noble, PA; Floyd T. Starr (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 593; Morris Silverman Collection (Heritage, 4/2002), lot 4077; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1011; Jack Lee; Heritage (11/2005), lot 2238; Heritage (2/2006), lot 23395.
3. PR66 NGC. American Numismatic Rarities (8/2004), lot 583; American Numismatic Rarities (1/2005), lot 681.
4. PR64 Cameo NGC. Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 11/2004), lot 1515.
5. PR64 PCGS. Amon Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 258; Heritage (5/1990), lot 972; Heritage (10/1995), lot 6061.
6. PR64 PCGS. George H. Earle, Jr. (Henry Chapman, 6/1912); J.M. Clapp; Clapp Estate; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2217; Goldberg Coins (2/2003), lot 716.
7. PR64 PCGS. Stack's (3/1995), lot 186; Superior (10/2000), lot 4391; Dr. John L. Pellegrini Collection (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10265.
8. PR64 NGC. Bowers and Merena (6/1990), lot 701; Bowers and Merena (5/1995), lot 1220.
9. PR64 NGC. Superior (6/1987), lot 1958; Superior (9/1993), lot 1311; Bowers and Merena (5/1995), lot 1221; Heritage (9/1996), lot 6348.
10. PR64 NGC. Bowers (12/1977), lot 5845; L.R. French, Jr. Family Collection (Stack's, 1/1989), lot 30; Queller family; Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2147.
11. PR64. Bowers (10/1977), lot 1063; Heritage (8/1998), lot 8196; Bowers and Merena (11/2002), lot 4058; Goldberg Coins (2/2003), lot 717.
12. Proof. New Netherlands Coin Co. (privately, 7/1944); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1681.
13. PR63 NGC. Stack's (9/1974), lot 42; Bowers and Merena (7/2005), lot 701.
14. PR63 NGC. Superior (10/1989), lot 3825; Heritage (8/1995), lot 6553
15. PR63. Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3793.
16. PR62 PCGS. Goldberg Coins (5/2001), lot 866; Heritage (7/2003), lot 8284.
17. PR61 NGC. Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 5/2008), lot 943.
18. Proof. Randall Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 9/1885), lot 75; Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976), lot 267.
19. Proof. Stack's (10/1995), lot 701; Stack's (3/1996), lot 512
20. Proof. Kreisberg (11/1976), lot 1122.
21. Proof. Stack's (12/1974), lot 831
22. PR60 ANACS. Heritage (6/1995), lot 5671; Heritage (1/1996), lot 5639; Heritage (3/1996), lot 6491; Heritage (9/1996), lot 6347.
23. Proof, polished. Bowers (2/1979), lot 832.
A. Proof. Stack's (5/1992), lot 2710. Not plated.
B. Proof. Frederick Geiss (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 345. Not plated, possibly to Carter.
C. Proof. Byron Reed; Omaha City Library. Lot 378 in the Christie's sale of items from The Byron Reed Collection is an 1850 silver dollar described as deeply toned with prooflike surfaces. It is likely the coin that Breen mentioned in his Proof Encyclopedia.
D. We are also aware of 10 or so other 1850 proof dollar appearances in catalogs that are not accessible to us, or are not plated.
Majestic untoned surfaces on this Premium Gem yield a stunning white-on-black appearance that jumps out at the observer. A complete strike shows full delineation on all points of the design elements, which further accents the incredible field-to-device contrast. Die polish lines are located in the fields, particularly on the obverse, where they are heavy. A minute mark on Liberty's right (left facing) wrist and a minuscule spot on the thigh to the upper right of the shield may aid in the identification of this coin for future catalogers. An incredibly captivating Cameo that is sure to capture the attention of proof Seated Liberty aficionados.
From The Bay State Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 2522, PCGS# 86991)
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 Bay State Collection, Part Two ]
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