1859 Three Dollar, PR65 Deep Cameo
1859 $3 PR65 Deep Cameo PCGS Secure. Given the
near-immaculate preservation and overall quality of this proof
three dollar gold, a glance at the surfaces would like lead one to
believe it dated to the decade of the 1880s, when the three dollar
gold pieces were being struck and, more importantly, saved, in much
Only Deep Cameo in Any Grade at PCGS
But the presence of the 1859 date on this Deep Cameo Gem proof certified by PCGS vastly increases its rarity.
Nominal totals were reportedly struck of the issue to begin with, some 15,589 business strikes complementing a proof production of 80 coins -- with perhaps not all of the latter sold, a circumstance in which the Mint's normal practice was to quietly melt the coins unsold at year-end and never adjust the reported totals.
In any case, the Bowers series reference on this series estimates a proof survival of only 11 to 13 pieces. Those figures may not be far off, as this coin is, notably, the only Deep Cameo in any grade at PCGS, which has also seen the following graded: in Cameo, one PR64+, two PR65; and in non-Cameo, three PR65. NGC has seen two PR65 Ultra Cameo; in Cameo, one each in PR61, PR63, and PR65, along with two PR66, one PR66+, and one PR67; and in non-Cameo, one each in PR62 and PR64 (3/14). These 18 grading events may well represent as few as a dozen or so separate coins.
This is a coin of remarkable quality and high visual appeal. The surfaces are canary-yellow, yet the deeply reflective fields easily "fade to black" under a loupe, contrasting markedly against yellow-gold devices. The obverse die was also used in 1858 for proof strikes, both showing a diagnostic forward portion of the first plume feather missing, due to die polishing. The obverse left field shows something that appears to be field chatter to the unaided eye, but with a loupe it is clearly light planchet porosity that does not affect the technical grade or the aesthetic appeal of this top-notch piece. Population: 1 in 65 Deep Cameo, 0 finer (3/14).(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 289X, PCGS# 98022)
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