Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 48

Lot 1231

1854 $3 Gold. PCGS graded Proof 64 Cameo. A magnificent golden cameo proof example. Rich golden-yellow in appearance with awesome eye-appeal. Lovely olive-gold accents strengthen the already rich golden-yellow appearance that includes some delightful pale orange highlights. Gently frosted motifs and firmly mirrored fields present an enjoyable contrast as well. This great rarity from the first year of the denomination is one of a mere 15 Proofs of the date struck. The present coin is tied for finest of just two examples of the grade certified by PCGS, and perhaps the finest overall of just six or so Proof specimens currently known to exist.

Over the years many famous collections of $3 gold coins have been showcased in auction sales, but very few contain the rare Proof 1854. The occasional Proof that is offered (often as a solo offering, not a part of a date set) is apt to be in a lower grade. Include the absolute beauty of this glittering Proof, its superb mirror quality, the prestige of it being the first year of the denomination (and the only year in which the word THREE DOLLARS was in small letters) and you have all of the ingredients for a great deal of bidding activity. Pop 2, none finer at PCGS. Tied for finest graded at both services. (PCGS # 88017) .

Die characteristics: Breen-2. Lighter letters than B-1l, final S below base line of E. Similar to the coin that was possibly in the set furnished City of Bremen; July 1854. As noted in the Breen encyclopedia, the $3 gold piece's "so-called 'Indian Princess' head, so far from attempting to depict any Native American, is still another avatar of the Greco-Roman Venus Accroupie profile which had already served Longacre for the gold dollar and double eagle, though with a feathered headdress supposed to emphasize "national character." The 15 Proofs appeared on April 28, 1854, according to Breen's archival researches.
Estimated Value $100,000 - 120,000.

Realized $149,500

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