Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 48

Lot 1263

1885 $5 Liberty. NGC graded Proof 64 Ultra Cameo. In NGC holder 1500894-010. A gorgeous untoned brilliant proof example with outstanding cameo contrast. Only 66 proofs minted. Bright golden color graces the surface of the obverse and reverse, accenting the "ultra" frosted lettering and devices. This coin retains infinite eye appeal and virtual-gem surfaces in every way. For identification purposes, there is a short tone streak or drift mark on the left side of the reverse running on the diagonal (Other specimens reported of the 1885 issue have similar drift marks.)

According to a researcher at Stack's "the Philadelphia Mint achieved the fashionable orange-peel fields through a secret process. This is quite remarkable to study, the fields appear perfectly reflective to the unaided eye, but when a magnifier is used, the fields break up into tiny interlocking facets which have an appearance similar to sun dried mud which has cracked into millions of fragments. This coining technique was perfected on Proof gold coinage of the period, and probably involved a combination of striking pressure and highly polished dies (on the fields), while the devices and lettering were frosted using a short acid bath to create the textured or frosty appearance. The combination of the frosted devices and mirror fields produces the Cameo effect, which is quite strong on the first few coins struck from the dies…" It is definitely "ultra" as seen on the present coin! A marvel of coin manufacture. Pop 2; 3 in 66 UC, 2 in 67 UC.
Estimated Value $20,000 - 24,000.


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