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December 26 , 2014

COIN OF THE WEEK

Tied Finest Graded 1878 Gold $1 NGC
Proof 66 ULTRA CAMEO

Click on Coin Image to enlarge


Tied Finest Graded 1878 Gold $1 NGC PF66 ULTRA CAMEO - $37,500.


This rare, near-Gem Cameo Proof 1878 Gold Dollar had a miniscule mintage of 20. Only 13 to 15 are known to exist today. Gem Deep Cameo, tied for the Finest Graded.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

James B. Longacre designed three gold dollar types. The Liberty Head was minted from 1849 to 1854. The design is the familiar Coronet Head similar to Longacre’s double eagle. We see Liberty wearing an inscribed LIBERTY Coronet facing left. Her hair is tightly tied except for two curls that flow down her neck. She is surrounded by thirteen stars. The reverse is a simple open wreath with berries tied in a bow. A large 1 for the denomination is at the top of the wreath. The word DOLLAR is below the number followed by the date above the bow. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc around the wreath. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of the coin.

The dollar coin was part of Alexander Hamilton’s original plan for the nation’s coinage; however, there was none until 1830’s, when Christopher Bechtler, a private minter, began to coin dollar and other denomination in gold. However, the coins were variable in fineness and frequently counterfeited. In 1844 a bill was introduced in congress to make gold dollars. Mint Director Robert Patterson was opposed. He falsely claimed that there was no public demand for these coins. He did not want Longacre, the Mint Engraver, making new dies because that would interfere with Franklin Peale’s medal-making business. He thought that Longacre’s job might be abolished if new coinage was not needed. However, five years later Congress recognized the need to coin the new California gold that was coming into the Mint. The public need a replacement for the paper currency that was frequently only acceptable at a discount and for the silver that had vanished during the “Hard Times” of 1837 to 1844. Notwithstanding Patterson’s objection, Longacre made the dies for the gold dollar and production began on May 8th of both business strikes and proofs.

Although no proof coins for this type are listed in the Red Book, A Guide Book of United States Coins, fewer than 50 of this design were made. The grading services have each certified one proof coin for this type.

In 1854 Type 2 gold dollars were made. Their diameters were increased from 13 millimeters to 15 millimeters to make handling easier. For this type, Longacre created a new design called the Indian Princess. It consisted of a truncated portrait of Liberty facing left wearing a stylized headdress inscribed LIBERTY. She is surrounded by the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse shows an open, elaborate wreath of corn, cotton, maple, and tobacco with the numeral 1 in the top center. Below it is DOLLAR followed by the date. Unfortunately these pieces did not strike well because the obverse portrait was in high relief and there wasn’t enough of a metal flow to fill the dies on both sides. Longacre had underestimated the power of the coining presses in use at the time. This problem was much more evident on the branch mint presses, which were much older than those in use at Philadelphia. Since the proofs that were made in Philadelphia did not show this weakness, Longacre was unable to anticipate this situation. As a result of the central weakness, the hair or the date was blurry or illegible. Most coins wore down quickly and were sent back to the mint to be recoined.

There was a large business strike for this type of 1,633,426 but only fewer than 50 proof coins made. The two major grading services have certified 20 Type 2 proof coins.

Two years later Type 3 was coined in the hopes that these striking problems could be alleviated with a design change. The new coin retained the same diameter, and the obverse relief was lowered. In addition, the portrait was modified so the relief areas were not opposite. The solution that Longacre chose was to adapt the design of the three dollar gold piece. The words of the legend were placed nearer the border. The head was placed farther from the letters, and the feathers’ shapes, sizes, and locations also changed. The new design modifications were successful and the coin remained in use until 1889.

Noted California industrialist, Ed Trompeter was one of the most famous collectors of United States coins. He had one of the most extensive collections of proof gold in history. Although the collection contained fewer than 250 gold coins, it included some of the most important pieces in American numismatics. He had near complete sets in proof of the half eagle, the eagle, and the double eagle. His collection was sold in 1998 for over 15 million dollars, the largest private transaction of the time in numismatic history. His collection included the finest known High Relief and Ultra High Relief double eagles both certified MS69, the unique Amazonian patterns in gold, the satin finish proof 1907 Saint-Gaudens Arabic Numerals in proof 68, the 1867 double eagle in proof 65 cameo, and a 1907 double eagle in proof 65 cameo as well as many other famous rarities.


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NEW COINS ADDED - (The week of 12/26/2014)

1925-D $20 St. Gaudens NGC MS64. VERY SCARCE DATE

1879-CC Morgan $1 NGC MS65+. SATIN WHITE

1892 Morgan S$1 PCGS MS65. SATIN WHITE SURFACES

1880 Morgan S$1 NGC PR68 CAMEO. GEM WHITE CAMEO

1881 Morgan $1 PCGS MS65 DMPL. GEM WHITE DEEP CAMEO

1881-O Morgan $1 PCGS MS65 DMPL. GEM WHITE

1905-S Barber 10C PCGS MS66

1911 Barber 10C PCGS MS67. SATIN WHITE

1905 Barber 10C PCGS MS66

1897-O Barber 10C PCGS MS66. SATIN WHITE

1895 Barber 10C PCGS MS67. GEM WHITE

1876-CC Seated 10C PCGS MS66

1875 Liberty Seated 10C PCGS PR67. GEM PROOF

1874-CC Liberty Seated 10C NGC AU50. VERY RARE

1919 Standing Liberty 25C PCGS MS67. SATIN SURFACES

1928-S Standing Liberty 25C, Type 2, PCGS MS67 Full Head

1927-S Standing Liberty 25C NGC MS65 FH

1926-S Standing Liberty 25C PCGS MS65 FH

1924-D Standing Liberty 25C NGC MS68. GEM WHITE

1920-S Standing Liberty 25C PCGS MS65 FH. GEM WHITE

1919 Standing Liberty 25C NGC MS68 FH. GEM SATIN WHITE

1918-D Standing Liberty 25C PCGS MS66 FH. AN OUTSTANDING GEM

1912 Barber 25C PCGS PR67 CAMEO. GEM WHITE

1911-S Barber 25C PCGS MS67. GEM LUSTEROUS

1911 Barber 25C PCGS MS67. HIGHEST GRADED

1942 Walking Liberty 50C NGC PR68. GEM WHITE

1942 Walking Liberty 50C PCGS PR68. GEM PROOF

1940-S Walking Liberty 50C, NGC MS67

1935-D Walking Liberty 50C PCGS MS65

1917-D Walking Liberty 50C NGC MS66. D ON OBVERSE

1917-D Walking Liberty 50C PCGS MS65

1916-D Walking Liberty 50C NGC MS67. GEM LUSTEROUS WHITE

1913 Barber 50C NGC PR68. GEM PROOF

 

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
www.usrarecoininvestments.com
Toll Free:
1-800-624-1870
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com


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