Famous 1854 Silver Dollar, Ex Eliasberg, PR661854 $1 Seated Dollar PR66 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. A Premium Gem proof with excellent contrast (although not certified as a Cameo proof), this piece is the finest certified by NGC, and ranks as one of the finest known examples of the date.
The proof silver dollar mintage is believed to be higher than the smaller silver coins. Numismatists generally acknowledge that complete silver proof sets were made available to collectors at the time, and that individual coins could also be requested. The large silver dollars were certainly requested more often than the smaller coins. Estimates of the silver dollar mintage fall between 50 and 100 coins per Dave Bowers or 60 to 70 coins according to Dave Akers. Survival estimates are believed by most to be nearly half of the original mintage, or about 30 to 40 coins. It is difficult to be more specific without taking a detailed census of auction appearances, museums, and private collections. Such a census would be relatively easy for any date prior to 1854, difficult for 1854 to 1857, and nearly impossible for 1858 and later issues. Regardless of the number known, this specimen from the Eliasberg and Kaufman collections ranks as one of the finest known.
Diagnostic of all proof 1854 silver dollars is a remnant from a stray punch located just above the extreme right tip of the 5. This die defect, or "island" as Dave Bowers calls it, appears to be from the top of a misplaced 4. A short spine extends left from the dentil below the upright of the 4. Short die file lines are visible from the dentil tips left of the date. The area below Liberty's chin is unfinished. Fine die file lines, or lapping lines, are visible within most of the white spaces in the shield.
Deep mirrors on both sides surround frosty and lustrous devices creating an excellent cameo appearance, although it is not designated as such by NGC. Both sides have light gold color with splashes of peripheral blue and iridescent toning. The reverse fields and devices have random horizontal and vertical striations that were present in the planchet before this piece was struck, having no affect on the grade or quality. The source of these marks is disputed. They are called "planchet adjustment marks" by Dave Bowers or "roller striations" by Carl Carlson.
Adjustment marks are usually associated with the early coins struck at the first Mint, but it is known that the Mint employed adjusters into the early 20th century. Another explanation suggests that these are roller marks created when the planchet strip passed through the rollers to adjust its thickness. The marks on this coin have a random orientation and only appear on the reverse, suggesting that they are actual adjustment marks. For comparison, the 1856 proof dime in the Kaufman collection, offered below, has parallel striations on both sides with perfect orientation, indicating that they are probably roller striations. Census: 1 in 66, 0 finer (6/07).
Ex: J.B. Wilson (Thomas Elder, 10/1908); J.M. Clapp; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate via Stack's (1942); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2222; Heritage (1/1998), lot 7042.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One. (#6997)
(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 2528, PCGS# 6997)
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One ]
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