Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 78

press UP arrow key to increase the zoom ratio.
press DOWN arrow key to decrease the zoom ratio.
press RIGHT arrow key to increase the zoom window size.
press LEFT arrow key to decrease the zoom window size.

Lot 1742

1880. PCGS graded Proof 64. Light hint of golden toning. A lightly frosted head of Liberty seemingly floats on molten gold, with the field nicely reflecting on the obverse; the reverse wreath and denomination similar to this. From a negligible Proof mintage for the year of just 36 pieces, we see the possibility that as few as 25 to 30 of still exist in today's numismatic holdings. The Bowers reference on the series notes: "Proofs are rare and desirable. Most of the 36 pieces minted seem to have survived. However, over a long period of years collectors spent many Proofs, as the market for them was not strong until the 20th century." Bowers also cites a reference of a six-piece gold Proof set of the date selling in June 1885 in a Chapman brothers' sale for just $42, or 50 cents more than face value. With no numismatic premium placed such pieces at the time it is entirely possible that some examples were spent at face value. That would be a shame. All told, the present lovely Proof 64 is an exceptional coin that truly belongs in a first-class U.S. Proof Gold collection.Pop 7; 1 finer in 65 (PCGS # 8044) .

History of the denomination: The new $3 denomination was designed by James B. Longacre, who became chief engraver at the Mint in 1844, after the death of Christian Gobrecht. The obverse features the head of Liberty as an Indian princess, facing left, wearing a feathered headdress upon which is a band inscribed LIBERTY. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds. The same motif was later used on the Type III gold dollar 1856-1889.

The reverse displays an "agricultural wreath" enclosing 3 DOLLARS and the date. The reverse wreath was later used on the Flying Eagle cents of 1856-1858. As is demonstrated, Longacre liked to copy his own work.

The $3 design was continued without major change from beginning to the end, except that issues of the year 1854 alone have the word DOLLARS in smaller letters than do the pieces from 1855 to 1889. Proofs were sold in small numbers each year.
Estimated Value $17,000 - 18,000.

Realized $24,675

Go to lot:  

Home | Current Sale | Calendar of Events | Bidding | Consign | About Us | Contact | Archives | Log In

US Coins & Currency | World & Ancient Coins | Manuscripts & Collectibles | Bonded CA Auctioneers No. 3S9543300
11400 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 800, Los Angeles CA 90064 | 310. 551.2646 ph | 310.551.2626 fx | 800.978.2646 toll free

© 2011 Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, All Rights Reserved