Enigmatic 1852 Seated Dollar, PR65 Cameo
1852 $1 Original PR65 Cameo NGC. The date is about centered
between the base of Liberty and the border, with a delicate base to
the 1, as always for 1852 Seated dollars. The left corner of the
base of the 1 is over the center of a dentil. The shield point is
over the right edge of the upright of the same digit.
The reverse has a few faint diagonal lines down to the right in the spaces between vertical shield stripes, some unfinished or unpolished areas at the bottom of those spaces, and faint unpolished areas at the branch. The lower two arrowheads appear to touch, but are actually minutely separated. The first claw (farthest left) curls to join the lower berry stem, the next claw barely touches the first, and the third claw is separated from the second. On the right, the inside claw touches the arrow feather, and the other two claws are separated. The shield is well formed, with no vertical stripes encroaching on the horizontal crossbars, or extending beyond the lower shield border. None of the crossbars extend past the shield border on either side.
Distinguishing between an Original and Restrike 1852 Seated dollar is quite a numismatic challenge. In his Proof Encyclopedia, Walter Breen presented characteristics of four reverse dies, three for Original examples and one for Restrikes. This specimen seems to have characteristics of the third Original variety and the Restrike!
In his Silver Dollar Encyclopedia, Dave Bowers described as many as six different varieties, three for Original strikes and three for Restrikes, admitting that there may be some duplication. Like Breen before him, Bowers noted that all varieties are from the same obverse die. The reverse has one or more diagonal lines slanting down to the right in the shield spaces, as described for Bowers' variety 3. It also has some unfinished or unpolished areas in the shield as seen on his variety 4 (the same as his variety 6). Since Bowers calls his variety 3 an Original and his variety 4 a Restrike, the true status of these pieces seems no clearer today than at any time in the past.
This gorgeous Gem Cameo proof has exceptional aesthetic appeal created through the combination of blue and violet peripheral toning around light gold surfaces. Both sides are deeply mirrored and the devices are boldly defined with frosty luster.
Ex: Share Collection (Superior, 9/2003), lot 2090; Rod Sweet Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 1013.
From The Estate of Jack Lee Collection. (NGC ID# 2525, PCGS# 86994)
View all of [The Jack Lee Estate Collection ]
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