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    PR68 Ultra Cameo 1880 Trade Dollar The Single Finest Certified

    1880 T$1 PR68 Ultra Cameo NGC. The last business strike Trade dollar was coined in 1878. Proofs continued for an additional seven years, although the final two issues, the 1884 and 1885, are prohibitive rarities whose existence was unknown until 1908, when they emerged from the estate of Philadelphia coin dealer William Idler. This long run of proof-only years is unprecedented except in the half cent series, which had proof-only dates in 1836, and again from 1840 to 1848. This brings to mind the question, why were the proof-only Trade dollars struck, when there was no chance that the series would be resumed for commercial production? The Trade dollars were unwelcome in domestic circulation, because they were not legal tender, and their bullion value was less than their face value. Collectors then and now, however, enjoyed the look of a large silver coin in brilliant proof finish. In fact, proof Trade dollar mintages were higher than proof Morgan dollar emissions, between 1878 and 1880. Between 1881 and 1883, proof Morgan dollar mintages were only slightly higher than corresponding Trade dollar productions. The real question, then, is why proof Trade dollar mintage essentially ended in 1884, aside from the minuscule and clandestine 1884 and 1885 issues. Congress did not repeal the law authorizing Trade dollars until February 1887. Presumably, turnover within an important Treasury or Mint position contributed to the decision to omit production of 1884 proofs, which then became Mint policy.
    This is a magnificent specimen, so close to perfect that one almost expects to find a COPY stamp somewhere. The strike is razor-sharp, even on the eagle's claws and Liberty's hair. All legends and devices are thickly frosted throughout. Dramatic contrast between the motifs and the darkly mirrored fields confirms the elusive Ultra Cameo designation. The fields are as smooth as if the piece was lifted from the dies with a gloved hand, and never handled since. Perfection is denied only nearly imperceptible horizontal ticks near the base of the 80 in the date, which can be used to identify any future appearances of this outstanding piece, the single finest certified by either NGC or PCGS.(Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 27YS, PCGS# 97060)

    Weight: 27.22 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2006
    29th-30th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,968

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