Gem Proof Restrike 1852 Dollar
1852 $1 Restrike PR65 NGC. This magnificent 1852 proof
dollar traces its history to the John Jay Pittman Collection, one
of the most famous collections of the 20th century. Pittman was a
noted connoisseur, who accepted only the finest coins in his
remarkable holding. When Pittman's collection was sold, after his
death, this coin became part of the Phil Kaufman Collection,
another landmark gathering of proof coins.
None Certified Finer
NGC classifies the Pittman-Kaufman coin as a proof "Restrike," which according to Walter Breen (1989) was made with the 1858-1859 reverse die. Breen notes that "Original" 1852 proof dollars employed the 1840-1849 reverse (and perhaps that of 1850).
David Bowers, in his Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States, estimates that 45 to 90 1852 proof Restrike dollars were minted, and that 29 to 46 are extant. His mintage estimate for Original proof coins is 15 to 30 pieces, with seven to 14 specimens in existence. Currently, NGC has certified 12 proof Restrikes and only three proof Originals (3/12).
Not all numismatists distinguish between 1852 proof dollar Originals and Restrikes. David Akers, for example, in his description of this coin in the Pittman catalog, states:
"... I remain unconvinced that any Proof Silver Dollars were actually struck in 1852, and I believe that all ... were minted later in the decade and are therefore Restrikes."
PCGS agrees with Akers that all proof 1852 dollars are Restrikes, and has graded 14 examples in all grades (3/12).
Regardless of the Original/Restrike controversy, this 1852 proof dollar is one of the five finest coins certified, including both categories, with none finer (3/12). Light gold-tan patina dominates both sides, accented with splashes of electric-blue and lavender around the peripheries, and an impressive strike results in virtually complete definition on the design features. No mentionable contact marks are visible, and only a few wispy hairlines show up in the fields under high magnification. Overall, this is a sharp coin with a notable pedigree.
Ex: Adolph Friedman Collection; ANA Convention Auction (Abe Kosoff, 8/1949), lot 233, realized $250 to B. Max Mehl; purchased by John Jay Pittman on 9/23/1949, for $260; John Jay Pittman Collection, Part II (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1684; Phil Kaufman Collection; ANA Signature Auction (Heritage, 8/2008), lot 1825, realized $40,000.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 2525, PCGS# 6995)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
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