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June 08, 2015

COIN OF THE WEEK

Rare 1859 $3 Gold PCGS MS66 - $46,500.
Click on Coin Image to enlarge


A gem 1859 Three Dollar Gold. Tied for the finest graded at PCGS. This rare, 1859 Three Dollar Indian Princess has pleasingly clean surfaces, a strong obverse strike, and subdued mint luster, which glows from its devices.

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

President Thomas Jefferson appointed Robert Scot Chief Engraver of the Mint on November 23, 1793. Although he was criticized for his designs, they were the first struck for the United States. Scot had been an engraver of paper money during the Revolution. His ability to work as a die cutter was somewhat limited, and he had failing eyesight. Despite these limitations he engraved dies that created the first copper, silver, and gold coinage. The coins he produced had errors, and they were not the same quality as European coinage, however, Congress would not allow a European firm to contract the work. It was the best that the young country could produce at the time.

The obverse design of the quarter eagle shows a full figured bust of Liberty facing right with the date below and slightly to the left. Above the date are eight stars on each side of LIBERTY, one for each state of the Union at the time, including newly admitted Tennessee. Subsequent dates of this design type had different arrangements of stars, including seven and six, and eight and five. Liberty is wearing an oversized, soft cap. Her hair shows on her forehead and flows down the side of her face and neck. The bust is draped in a kind of classical design, which was designer Robert Scot’s goal. However, the ancients never used drapery the way Scot did. His bust is draped more like a head waiting for a body to be sculpted.

The source of Scot’s obverse design is probably a Roman engraving that copied a Greek goddess. In Scot’s mind the cap may have been a symbol of liberty; however, a Phrygian cap never looked like this one. A true Phrygian, or liberty cap was a close fitting, egg shaped cap that was worn by slaves and freed gladiators in Roman times. Slaves had shaved heads or very short hair. The cap covered this mark of slavery to show the wearer was a free man. The cap worn by Liberty has been called a turban, and because of it the design has been called the Turban Head. It is interesting to note that President Jefferson did not feel that the liberty cap was an appropriate symbol of freedom for the United States. He pointed out that we were never slaves and the Phrygian cap was used for slaves that had been freed. Perhaps because of its use in France and elsewhere in Europe, the Phrygian cap remained an important symbol on early United States coinage.

The coin’s reverse is an adaptation of the Great Seal of the United States. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the design. A banner over the eagle’s right wing and under the left is inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM. Sixteen stars are between the banner and the clouds above the eagle’s head. Other dates had various arrangements of stars, including fourteen in a cross and thirteen in an arc. The shield, with its sixteen stripes, represents the Union. Some other dates had thirteen stripes on the shield. Mint Director Elias Boudinot realized that additional territories would become new states. Obviously, the number of stars and stripes had to be fixed because they could not increase indefinitely. At some time in 1797 he ordered Scot to limit the number of stars and stripes to thirteen for the first states. However, he left the placement of the stars to Scot.

In its talons the eagle holds the traditional symbols of war and peace, the arrows and olive branch; however, in an incredible blunder Scot mixed up the positions of arrows and olive branch. Traditionally the olive branch is held in the eagle’s dexter or right, honorable, claw. In Scot’s version, the arrows are honorable and the olive branch is in the less honorable or sinister claw. This mistaken symbolism, if intended, shows either defiant militarism or political stupidity. On the other hand, if not intended, the mistake shows a blundering young country that can’t even get its symbolism correct.


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ADDITION NEW COINS ADDED - (Week of 6/01/2015)

1892-S Liberty $20 Gold PCGS MS65. GEM LUSTROUS SURFACES

1907 Indian $10 NGC MS67. NO MOTTO. GEM SATIN SURFACES

1897 Liberty $20 NGC PR64+ UCAM. VERY FLASHY

1857-S Liberty $20 PCGS MS66 CAC. AN OUTSTANDING GEM

1875 20C NGC PR65UCAM. GEM WHITE DEEP CAMEO

1869 3CN PCGS PR66 CAM. GEM CAMEO

1872 2 Cents NGC PR66 RD. GEM PROOF

1866 2 Cents PCGS PR66 RD. GEM RED

1920-D Lincoln 1C PCGS MS65 RD. GEM RED. ONLY 8 GRADED HIGHER

1869 Indian Bronze 1C PCGS MS65RD CAC. GEM RED

1856 Flying Eagle 1C PCGS PR64. VERY CHOICE PROOF. KEY DATE

1855 Large 1C Braided Hair, PCGS MS65 RD. UPRIGHT 55. GEM RED

1795 Liberty Cap 1C NGC MS63 BN. PLAIN EDGE

1892 Barber 25C NGC PR68 UCAM. GEM WHITE ULTRA CAMEO

1918-D Standing Liberty 25C PCGS MS65 FH. GEM ORIGINAL WHITE

1845 Liberty Seated 25C PCGS PR63. VERY RARE

1875-CC Liberty Seated 25C NGC MS65. GEM SATIN SURFACES

1854 Liberty Seated 25C NGC MS65. ARROWS. SATIN WHITE

1840-O Liberty Seated 25C NGC MS63. VIRTUALLY WHITE

Very Truly Yours,

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


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