Douglas Winter Numismatics has been chosen to sell the Tri-Star Collection of Proof gold dollars. This collection, which was formed by one of the savviest collectors of gold coins in today’s numismatic market, includes a dozen very rare Type Three Proof gold dollars dated between 1856 and 1878. In a conversation with the former owner of the coins, he stated the following: “My original goal was to assemble a complete set of Proof gold dollars in high grades. Instead of focusing on the dates from the 1880’s which I thought would be easy to acquire, I was more focused on the very rare Type Three coins struck from 1856 to 1879. These dates typically had mintage figures of fifty coins or fewer and many have as few as ten to fifteen survivors.”
This collector added another couple of interesting comments about his collection. ”I tried whenever possible to buy coins that were original and which had not been recently conserved. I also tried to add a few coins that had particularly good pedigrees. The reason that I gave up on the set was that I found it too frustrating to find the dates I needed with the eye appeal that I wanted.”
What this collector did accomplish is still nothing short of amazing. The undisputed highlight of the coins being offered for sale by DWN is an 1856 gold dollar graded PR67 Ultra Cameo by NGC. It is the earliest dated gold dollar graded this high by NGC and it is the finest known of an estimated six or seven that exist.
Remarkably, the collection continues with a nice date run of Proofs dated 1857-1863. The 1857 is an NGC PR65 Cameo, while the 1858 is a stunning NGC PR66 Cameo that is tied with one other coin as the finest known. The 1859, graded PR66 Deep Cameo by PCGS, has amazing eye appeal and is a coin that is notable for its rich original coloration. The 1860 is graded PR65 Cameo and has a pedigree from the famous Harry Bass collection while the popular 1861 is a very high end PR65 that has also been graded by PCGS. The 1862 is an NGC PR66 Ultra Cameo which is among the finest known while the 1863, while “only” graded PR64 Deep Cameo by PCGS, has the eye appeal and appearance of a Gem.
The collector who assembled this set of gold dollars was very interested in coinage from the Civil War and the only issue from this era that was missing was the 1864. His 1865 is a Gem NGC PR65 that has a Cameo designation.
There are just three coins from the 1870’s present in the Tri-Star collection but they are all remarkable and desirable pieces. The extremely rare and much underrated 1874, with an original mintage of just 20 pieces, is represented by a lovely PCGS PR64 Cameo. The extremely rare 1875 is a PR66 Cameo with an incredible pedigree. The coin was last sold as part of the Bass collection and it had been obtained from the Stack’s 1976 Garrett sale where it was part of an original 1875 gold proof set that had been obtained by the Garrett family back in 1883. The other issue from this decade is a PCGS PR65 Cameo 1878. This is another date with an original mintage of only 20 pieces and the present example is clearly among the finest known.
A number of the coins in the collection have been sent to CAC and have received a “green sticker” that indicates that they are acceptable quality for the grade.
It is my feeling that these low mintage Type Three gold dollars represent the best value in the Proof gold market. To wit, there are a host of coins in the collection that are extremely rare as based on their original mintage figure and survival rate but which are priced at a fraction of the amount of less rare large denomination Proofs from the 1880’s and 1890’s in the same grade. Clearly, size does matter when it comes to Proof gold but the dollar denomination has traditionally been popular among collectors and, unlike the larger coins, this set could be completed with patience and a deep pocketbook. If a collector wants to buy a single extremely rare Proof gold coin but he doesn’t have unlimited funds, the gold dollar denomination will prove fruitful.
It is anticipated that the Tri-Star collection will be posted on the DWN website (www.raregoldcoins.com) within the next week. Subscribers to Winter’s newsletter will be given early notification of the exact date that the coins will go “live.” Each coin will be accurately described and superbly imaged with large views of the obverse and the reverse. For more information about the Tri-Star Collection of Proof Gold Dollars, please contact Doug Winter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.