Considered Unique 1839 Gem Proof Quarter1839 25C No Drapery PR65 NGC. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. The Kaufman 1839 proof Seated quarter is considered the only one of its kind in existence, and is the solitary example certified by either NGC or PCGS. It has been off the market for a decade, and before that for half a century. Two of the five 1839 proof coins in the Kaufman Collection are believed to be unique. It is conceivable, in fact likely, that this sale may represent the last opportunity for the present generation of collectors to acquire one or both of these coins.
To the best of our knowledge, the first known auction appearance of this rarity was in the 1945-1946 sale of the F.C.C. Boyd Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1945), lot 147. John Jay Pittman acquired this coin two years later from Numismatic Gallery, privately, in July 1947.
The proof roster for this issue is necessarily brief:
1. PR65 NGC. F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1945), lot 147; Numismatic Gallery (privately, 7/1947); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1298; Phil Kaufman Collection.
Akers indicates that Pittman held this coin in especially high regard and considered it one of the highlights of his collection. He writes: "Without question, it is one of the most important coins in the entire Pittman Collection, a coin that could not be duplicated for any amount of money."
And now this same 1839 proof quarter ranks among the most important coins in the Kaufman Collection! Its mirrorlike fields highlight the motifs on both sides, and despite minor softness in a few localized areas, the design elements exhibit sharp detail. The toning is absolutely superb deep grayish-blue, with subtle gold undertones and whispers of lighter blue iridescence at the margins. There are myriad signs of die polishing throughout the fields, especially on the reverse and around Liberty's head and the date, and heavy horizontal die polishing lines or die file marks are visible below the date. A few minute marks scattered about are totally within the parameters of the grade designation.
This piece is an extreme rarity with undeniable eye appeal. Indeed, we believe it may well be unique, a coin that most connoisseurs of Seated Liberty proof coinage can only dream of owning. The mere existence of a single proof 1839 quarter is remarkable, but its survival in Gem quality is absolutely amazing.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three. (NGC ID# 23W2, PCGS# 5528)
Weight: 6.68 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three ]
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