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Sale 72

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Lot 1696

1860. PCGS graded Proof 65. CAC Approved. Proofs made prior to 1859 were unrecorded in the Mint records. Those from 1859-on are the first where production figures are obtainable after the Philadelphia Mint publicly began marketing Proof coins in 1858. The 1860 consisted of 112 pieces in Proof. However, many got melted before finding an end purchaser. Breen in his research when describing the 1860 issue posits a survival of 20 to 30 pieces. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth expand upon this number slightly in the 2008 edition of their Gold Encyclopedia:

"The mintage figure of 112 is very misleading as to the true rarity of the 1860 Liberty Head quarter eagle in Proof. The date is just as rare as other issues from the 1860s, with only 30 to 50 coins struck. If 112 examples of the date were actually produced, most were either melted as unsold or entered circulation. The 1860 quarter eagle is rarely offered at public auction, and just a few of them have sold in the last decade, the finest being the PF-66 Harry W. Bass example sold in 2000 for $34,500. Examples also reside in the museum collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the ANS. All of the Proof 1860 quarter eagles are seen with the New Reverse. Also interesting is the position of the date, which slants down sharply to the right on Proofs of the year."

The present Gem PCGS example is a resoundingly beautiful specimen with keen-edged and detailed design elements. The reflective orange-gold surfaces show only minimal signs of contact. The fields include a trace of the wonderful orange-peel texture often associated with 19th century Proofs, however the effect is subtle. Pop 1; none finer. The Finest graded example at PCGS (PCGS # 7886) .
Estimated Value $30,000 - 35,000.

Realized $37,950

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