Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 39

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Lot 2355

1895 $5 Liberty. NGC graded Proof 67 Ultra Cameo. Housed in NGC holder 1827382-008. Exquisite superb gem! Probably the "Finest Known". Astonishing glass-smooth mirror fields draw attention to the flawlessness of the smoothly frosted motifs that appear poised above them. The obverse fields offers a flavor of the orange-peel texture by and large identified with later Proof dates after the turn of the century. The regularity of the strike may be gauged by the Proof surface within the stripes of the reverse shield. The qualifying Ultra Cameo effect is exactly that, "Ultra" with a capital U! Given a Proof mintage of only 81 pieces, this date is wonderfully rare by any measure. In this matchless Ultra-Cameo quality, however, the coin is rarer still and on board to become a pride and joy in any high quality collection.

The Dannreuther-Garrett 10-year auction record lists 10 appearances of 1895 Proofs, only one described as PR-67 CAM. The NGC Census Report notes that while several Ultra-Cameo pieces have been certified, exactly one has been certified as Superb 67. A more perfect example of a Liberty Proof gold half eagle would be difficult to picture. Pop 1; none finer.

Frosted devices, which defuse light back to the viewer, are skillfully contrasted by mirror fields, which, instead, reflect light in only one point of the compass and appear correspondingly dark. This approach to die preparation was used by major government mints around the world to impress and delight collectors and recipients. American collectors of the day also marveled at the end result -- exactly as we do today. However, because there were no more than a few hundred active numismatists in period when this half eagle was made, the Mint was able to sell but 81 Proofs that year.
Estimated Value $60,000 - 70,000.

Realized $77,625

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