By James McCartney, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stack’s Bowers …..
Lot 91161 of our May 2017 Collectors Choice Online Auction will spotlight a gorgeous 1876 Liberty Seated half dollar certified Proof-65 Cameo by PCGS and granted a green sticker by CAC.
This beauty was struck in a year filled with excitement over the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The celebration manifested itself in numerous numismatic relics, including an assortment of tokens and medals issued for the Centennial International Exposition held in Philadelphia from May through November of that year. This patriotism and nostalgia certainly did not overlook conventional U.S. coinage, however, as 1876-dated issues are among the most popular mintages among collectors to this day, and the example offered in our May CCO auction is a stunning representative.
Proof mintages reached a pinnacle across virtually all issues in 1876, with the half dollar struck to a quantity of 1,150 coins to meet demand, compared to the 700 coins struck the year prior. About two thirds of this mintage is thought to survive, through the number of Gem Proof specimens, like the present, is just a fraction of that. PCGS has certified just six additional coins at the Proof-65 Cameo level, with only seven graded finer in that category.
The centers of this deeply mirrored piece are brilliant, framed by a vivid iridescence of cobalt and magenta at the borders. The surrounding fields are quite reflective, highlighting the frosty motifs and the exceptionally preserved surfaces. This piece is undoubtedly among the most impressive survivors of this issue, displaying a technical quality that is only surpassed by eye appeal.
This jewel is just one of many desirable lots in our May 2017 Collectors Choice Online auction. The auction will feature an impressive assortment of U.S. coins and currency, in addition to world coins and paper money. Visit www.StacksBowers.com to view the sale and bid on this exciting offering.