By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
The Philadelphia Mint struck only 1,100 silver dollars for commercial use in 1852, a fact that was not lost on contemporary numismatists. By the end of that decade, the 1852 had a reputation as a rare and desirable date in the silver dollar series.
The United States Mint began producing Proof Restrikes around 1859. These coins are not official issues, but rather were offered privately by Mint personnel.
Several striking periods are supposed, the first ending in 1860 when Mint Director James Ross Snowden supposedly seized the dies and sealed them in a carton. In 1867 a new mint director, Henry R. Linderman, inaugurated a new period of restriking that probably continued intermittently until the end of Linderman’s second term in 1878.
The earliest known auction appearance of a restrike Proof 1852 silver dollar was in Edward Cogan’s Simon Gratz Collection sale of May 1, 1859. Since then, the popularity of this issue has grown as new generations of collectors have sought high grade examples of this key date Liberty Seated dollar.
We are pleased to offer an exceptional example of this Restrike issue in lot 3178 of our March 2020 Baltimore Auction. Graded Proof-64 Cameo (NGC) CAC, it is the sole example certified by NGC in the Cameo category and is also the only Cameo example to receive approval by CAC from any grading service.
Just a single obverse die was used to strike all 1852-dated issues, including business strikes, Original Proofs, and Proof Restrikes. The OC-P2 variety, as offered here, is the rarest of the two confirmed die marriages used to strike 1852-dated Proof Restrikes. Osburn and Cushing (2018) also list a third Restrike die marriage that was previously proposed by Q. David Bowers, but this has yet to be confirmed. The OC-P2 variety features a reverse die first used on Original Proofs from 1856 and 1857, and it was later used for Restrikes dated 1851 and 1852. Original research by John M. Pack suggests that this reverse was also used to strike 1861 Original Proofs, based on the matching of several die markers including a lump on the rim below the L of DOL. Just about six examples of the OC-P2 marriage are thought to survive, and the present piece is surely among the finest.
This is an attractive and richly toned example with deep violet surfaces and flashes of rose-gold iridescence. Reflective mirrors abruptly contrast with the more satiny devices, imparting a cameo contrast that is superior to most others. It is sharp and overall smooth, with no notable post-mint blemishes. Here is a significant opportunity for advanced collectors of Liberty Seated coinage or 19th-century Proof type.
This 1852 Proof Restrike dollar will be featured in lot 3178 of our March 2020 Baltimore Auction, which is highlighted by the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Parts VI and VII, the ESM Collection of Half Cents, and further rarities from the E. Horatio Morgan Collection. To consign your collection alongside these treasures or secure a copy of this exciting catalog speak with a numismatic representative today at 800-566-2580 or email consign@Stacksbowers.com. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.