Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 17

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Lot 1819

1870 Pattern Dime. Silver, reeded edge. Judd-849. Pollock-956, High rarity-5. PCGS graded Proof 66. Resplendent blue and gray toning on this one, with radiant blue around the periphery from long storage in a National Pages album, or something similar. The surfaces are superb, with no signs of handling or abuse. Well mirrored fields, and the strike is generally sharp. A scarce issue with approximately 30-40 known, and this is certainly one of the best. In fact, PCGS has only graded 1 this high, this coin, with none graded higher! Hence, if you demand the finest, then this is likely the coin you need.
The Standard Silver coinage came about as a proposed solution to the flood of fractional currency that had taken over the country at that time. Hatred of the tiny filthy notes was universal, enough so that nickel mine owner Joseph Wharton was able to sell all the nickel he could pull from the ground to the Mint for use in Three Cent nickels and soon Shield nickels, both of which were coined solely to replace the 3¢ and 5¢ fractional notes. Higher denomination fractional currency notes persisted, as all silver coinage then in circulation was being hoarded for its bullion content which approached or even slightly exceeded the stated value of the coin. William Barber proposed striking dimes, quarters and half dollars of lighter weight (and value) with the intention being that these new coins would stay in circulation and not be hoarded, and the new "Standard Silver" pieces could be exchanged for the fractional notes. Sets of the Standard Silver patterns were created and spread amongst the powers that be, but the proposal was not accepted in the end. Further, the price of gold had a serious run up in price in 1869 as Jay Gould and his partner Jim Fisk attempted (and nearly succeeded) in cornering the gold market, causing further hoarding of silver and gold. Only when President Grant released some of the Treasury's holdings of gold was the corner broken, and Gould and Fisk lost their shirts as more gold appeared on the market than they could buy. As market conditions normalized, the price of silver slowly drifted back to pre-Civil War ratios, and silver coins once again circulated as intended along with gold. Thus, the Standard Silver issue idea was shelved, but at least we have many delectable pattern issues to enjoy today to attest to these troubled times (PCGS # 61093) .
Estimated Value $1,800 - 2,000.
From the Benson collection and purchased from Hollinbeck Stamp & Coin Company's auction circa 1944-46 lot 1571.

Realized $2,300

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