Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 78

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Lot 1795

1876. PCGS graded Proof 64 Cameo PQ. CAC Approved. Only 45 minted. Lovely golden toning on both sides. A wonderful coin. A prestigious example of this very rare date we are fortunate to offer in the present sale. Even though veteran numismatists are acquainted with the fact that this date is rare and seldom offered, it is possible that it has been overlooked somewhat because it follows the legendary 1875 half eagle, with a total mintage of 240 Proofs and business strikes. Even so, the 1876 is in an elite group both as a circulation strike and as in Proof quality. Mint records show that 1,432 business strikes were made, plus 45 Proofs. Walter Breen, in his "Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" avers that all Proofs, including the present example, share the same attribute: a small die lump on the neck just below the jaw, directly above the 1 in the date.

The present example lovely Cameo frosted-on-mirror contrast between the highly reflective fields and the satiny devices. There are a few hairlines noted on this coin, primarily in the fields and detectable under magnification on both sides. The obverse shows a thin toning line on the face from the area of the nose to the cheek with only one or two little scuffs also virtually undetectable without a glass. This bestows on rarities buyers an opportunity almost without equal for the rare date or type specialist to acquire one of the finest known examples of this date. Tied for finest graded at PCGS: Pop 2; none finer at PCGS (PCGS # 88471) .

Centennial year, 1876: One of the high spots of the Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia in 1876 was the starting of the great 70-foot-tall Corliss steam engine, the wonder of the day, which turned the machinery in Machinery Hall. Dom Pedro, the emperor of Brazil, accompanied by President Ulysses S. Grant, turned on the power which put the huge machine in motion. It was purchaed by the Pullman (railway) Company following the close of the Exposition and for many years ran in its plant at Chicago. Built by George Corliss, it was the largest steam engine in the world. Of engines like the Corliss, William Dean Howells wrote, "In these things of iron and steel the national genius speaks."
Estimated Value $17,000 - 19,000.

Realized $38,775

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