By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
Proof gold coinage provides a special focus in United States numismatics, usually combining incredible visual appeal and extreme rarity. The Proof Liberty Head eagle is among the most popular but also the most challenging series in this category, with many annual mintages well below 50 pieces.
At just 40 examples struck, the Proof 1883 Liberty Head eagle has one of the lowest mintages of the entire 1880s. It is tied as the second lowest behind only the Proof 1880, which has a mintage of 36 pieces.
Fewer than 20 distinct survivors are known of the 1883, making it a true rarity of the series.
Stack’s Bowers is thrilled to present a lovely Proof-64 Ultra Cameo (NGC) CAC 1883 eagle in our June 2020 Auction, one that ranks as among the most desirable examples known. Pale golden-wheat color dominates the surfaces, accented by hints of original apricot patina throughout the fields. The strike is exceptional, resulting in heavily frosted central devices against mirrored and intensely reflective fields. Just a hint of friction at Liberty’s chin precludes a full Gem designation.
The majority of survivors exhibit a uniform, all-brilliant finish, lacking the intense Ultra Cameo of the present piece. It also offers superior preservation; just two coins have been graded finer at NGC. Perhaps most significantly, this is the sole Proof 1883 eagle that has earned approval by CAC across all grading services, further indicating the truly exceptional quality and eye appeal.
This example is only the fourth that our firm has offered in the past 16 years. We last sold a specimen at the Proof-64 Ultra/Deep Cameo level in our November 2004 sale of the Frog Run Farm Collection, where it realized $27,600 USD. Demand from collectors has steadily increased in the ensuing two decades, and we anticipate strong interest when the present example crosses the auction block.
This Proof-64 Ultra Cameo (NGC) CAC specimen will be sold in our June 2020 Auction, offered as part of the impressive Francesca Collection of United States Gold Coinage. This cabinet was assembled throughout the second half of the 20th century and has been held privately off the market for decades. Encompassing nearly every U.S. gold series from the early Capped Bust type through Private and Territorial issues, the collection is bound to draw considerable attention from a wide variety of specialists.
We are accepting consignments to this exciting auction event through the end of April, so contact us today at Consign@stacksbowers.com or 800-566-2580 to speak with a numismatic expert. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.