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    1883 Three Dollar Gold, PR66 Deep Cameo
    Popular Proof Gold Issue
    89 Examples Struck
    Only One Finer Coin at PCGS

    1883 $3 PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Bender Collection. A fairly generous mintage of 89 proof three dollar gold pieces was struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1883, to accompany a small business strike emission of 900 pieces. Clearly, the denomination was both unwanted and unnecessary in the national economy of the 1880s, but collector demand was still strong. Fortunately for present-day collectors, the issue has a surprisingly high survival rate in both formats, as the low business-strike mintage alerted contemporary numismatists to hoard them at the time of issue. Experts estimate as many as 55 to 70 proofs survive today in all grades, and most have been well-preserved.

    Interestingly, relatively few examples were offered in the early auction catalogs, with the bulk of the coins we know about today surfacing after 1930. One early auction appearance was in lot 1173 of the William H. Woodin Collection (Thomas Elder, 3/1911):

    "1883. Only 940 pieces of all kinds struck. Very seldom offered in proof condition. Very rare. Plate."

    Notice Elder quoted a slightly smaller total mintage figure than the accepted total today. This figure was accepted for many years and was quoted in early editions of Wayte Raymond's Standard Catalogue, as well. The mistake probably came about because 40 proof sets were delivered early in the year, on February 10, 1883, and early researchers did not realize another 49 coins were struck and delivered later in the year. Later researchers, like Walter Breen, discovered the correct mintage in the second half of the 20th century. The lot realized $9, a good price at the time. Recent sales include the spectacular PR66+ Cameo NGC coin in lot 3277 of the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part V (Heritage, 11/2014) that realized $70,500.

    This extraordinary Premium Gem displays well-detailed frosty design elements that contrast profoundly with the deeply mirrored fields to produce a stunning cameo effect. The impeccably preserved yellow-gold surfaces show no mentionable flaws and eye appeal is tremendous. Population: 9 in 66 Deep Cameo, 1 finer (6/15).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28AS, PCGS# 98047)

    Weight: 5.02 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,016

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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    Jim Beasley, Tilden Coin Company,
    Allamonte Springs, FL
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