Proof-Only 1858 Seated Dollar, PR661858 $1 Seated Dollar PR66 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. The 1858 Seated dollar is the most famous proof of the series due to its status as the only "proof-only" date issued from 1840 to 1873. It is also one of the least understood coins among all American numismatic treasures from a mintage estimated at about 300 coins. Only one finer example of the date has been certified by NGC.
Numismatist Duncan Lee, a well-known specialist in the Seated coinage arena, compiled a brief study of proof Seated dollar rarity, published in the August 2006 "Monthly Supplement" of the Coin Dealer Newsletter. A two page study, Lee provides excellent information. For 1858, he writes: "The 1858 is the only Proof-only date in the Liberty Seated silver dollar series. All known survivors were struck from one obverse die paired with at least two reverse dies, one being the same reverse die used for some 1856 and 1857 proofs .... Several others were made with the reverse die which was used to produce some 1859 proofs."
A particular challenge in the study of early proof coins is determining what information is valid and what is not. In his Proof Encyclopedia, Walter Breen described two different reverse dies. Unfortunately, this single example has certain characteristics of both dies!
For the second reverse, Breen recorded that the "claws touch, two lower arrowheads touch shafts; often, depressed mark (from foreign matter on die) in field near beak." The Kaufman collection coin clearly has the shallow depression near the beak, but has the claws separated and the two lower arrowheads not near the shafts above. It also has a straight die line in the narrow space over ITE of UNITED, and this die line is identical to that appearing on the 1856 proof dollar in this collection. Die notes for the proof dollars are in need of substantial overhauling, as different authors use different notations with little consistency. In addition to revamping the die notes, considerable study is still needed to make accurate mintage determinations.
A splendid Premium Gem, fully detailed on both sides, with impressive magenta and sea-green toning. A high-quality piece, this dollar is only exceeded by one coin certified by NGC, a PR67 Cameo specimen. Census: 4 in 66, 1 finer (6/07).
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One. (#7001)
(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 252C, PCGS# 7001)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part One ]
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