Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 78

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Lot 1807

1904. PCGS graded Proof 65 Cameo. A glittering brilliant Gem Proof specimen with natural frosted raised devices. Only 136 Proofs minted. Struck as it was during the early years of the 20th century, the 1904 Liberty five might seem like one of the more abundant issues in the Proof Half Eagle series. This is to a certain extent true, but with only 50-75 coins known in all grades, the Proof 1904 might better be termed a legitimately rare coin when viewed in the wider framework of the numismatic market. It is also more difficult to locate than the Proof 1900, which was produced in greater numbers (230 pieces very scarce. 136 coins) due to an expected increase in collector sales for that turn-of-the-century delivery.

This coin is one of the more impressive Proof 1904 Half Eagles known, and for two reasons. First, it possesses appreciable field-to-device contrast that PCGS deemed strong enough to warrant a Cameo title. Most Proof 1904 $5 gold pieces (indeed, most Proof Half Eagles struck from 1902 through 1907) were produced using all-brilliant proofing techniques. Second, the surfaces of this coin are virtually pristine and fully deserving of Gem 65 status. A razor-sharp strike and bright-gold color round out an extensive list of positive qualifications. Pop 4; 1 finer in 66 (PCGS # 88499) .

Historic note: While this 1904 Half Eagle was making its debut, a debut of another sort was taking place: Edwin S. Porter's "The Great Train Robbery," the first well-known American film with a story line, was released to exhibitors in 1904. The 14-minute, single-reel film was also featured at the opening of the first modern movie theater a year later in Pittsburgh. Porter, working in the Edison laboratory, discovered the principle of editing. By piecing together films from the stockroom he had first made "The Life of an American Fireman," which was released in 1903 to a limited audience.
Estimated Value $20,000 - 23,000.
Ex: Purchased from Abner Kreisberg in the 1970's The Del Valle Collection.

Realized $29,375

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