Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 2

Lot 1718

Wonderful 1861 Proof $3 Indian Princess
Only Gem Graded!
PCGS graded Proof 65. What a coin! As the Civil War broke out this year, few people's thoughts drifted to numismatics--probably not even New York industrialists drooling over the upcoming profits they would garner from others' misery. In fact this coin was in all probability manufactured before the firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12th. Why do we suggest this? Because the mintage in 1860 was 119, then in 1861 it was 113--but in the war years it plummeted to a third or quarter of those figures. Curiously, for such a mintage, PCGS has graded only 7 coins, while NGC has seen just 5. What happened to all the rest of them? Melted? Spent? Exported to pay for war supplies? Time has not told us yet.
What we have here, and in fact are thrilled to offer for sale, is a wonderful, wonderful Proof coin. We can find nothing critical to say about it. Nothing. It has the orange-peel surfaces of the best of these Proofs, virtually no hairlines, not even the faintest, and a splendid oldtime gold color. (Just below the left portion of the ribbon's bow is a tiny spot of surface granularity, but this is entirely normal for the period and metal.) In normal light it also sports a decided cameo appearance, although PCGS does not designate this on the insert. Pop figures: NGC's 5 coins are all 64s. PCGS has seen one PR63, 5 PR64s, and just this sole PR65. Nothing's been seen to equal it, and of course a better one has not shown up yet. Don't hold your breath for this coin's equal--just bid on it, and bid strong, if you happen to need a splendid Proof Three! Possibly the Trompeter coin.


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