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Sale 78

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Lot 1743

1881. PCGS graded Proof 64 Deep Cameo. CAC Approved. A gorgeous golden beauty with impressive watery mirror surfaces and wonderful frosted devices. Only 54 proofs struck. The 1881 is a respected rarity in light of its very low mintage (even by $3 Gold piece standards) of just 500 business strikes along with 54 Proofs. Of the 54 Proofs struck, Bowers, in a 2005 treatise The United States Three Dollar Gold Pieces: 1854-1889, puts the number known at 45 or more pieces. Certainly one of the more important survivors of this low mintage issue.

Proofs of this date have long been recognized as being well preserved, much more so than many other issues in the series, with only a few that are noticeably impaired. Certainly from a market availability standpoint, Proofs of 64 or higher quality entice bidders to come out of the woodwork, as the slang expression goes. Noted historian Walter Breen discussed the die characteristics of the true Proofs of 1881 (versus those struck from business strike dies). On the Proofs, over half of J is visible, but less than half of BL on the necks truncation. "Tops of U, bases of A(T) and A(M) joined, triangles of all three A's filled; short arc atop D. Die polish in some feathers, below ear, and at neck next to lower curls. Dentils separate, least so above STAT. Reverse. Low date, upright of final 1 minutely left of tip of right foot of A. Traces of extra outlines within 3 (faintly) and on both ribbon ends. Dentils mostly joined. Right ribbon bow incomplete at left, though less so than in 1880." Pop 2; 2 finer in 66 (PCGS # 98045) .
Estimated Value $20,000 - 25,000.
The Del Valle Collection.

Realized $30,550

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