A nice, original example with clean, lightly marked surfaces and good overall eye appeal. The 1872 is dozens of times scarcer than the 1873 Open 3, 1875 and 1876 yet it sells for essentially no premium in this grade. Unbeatable value at less than $2,000!
When I was offered this coin I thought to myself that it had been a long, long time since I'd seen an 1872 gold dollar in this grade. A quick check revealed that the last MS63 1872 gold dollar to be sold at auction was all the way back in October 1999 and that coin (ex Bass II: 181) brought $2,530. I was further sold by the fact that this is a truly nice coin for the grade with good color, clean surfaces and legitimate eye appeal. I think the PCGS population figures for this date are insanely swelled by resubmissions and the fact that no MS63's have sold at auction in thirteen years makes me feel that their population figures have to be discounted. If you are a slave to Trends, you won't but this coin but if, like me, you are intrigued by the fact that the last MS63 gold dollar sold brought $2,520 thirteen years ago....you'll buy this coin and you won't think twice!
Only 2,000 business strike 1872 Three Dollar gold pieces were struck and, unlike some of the low mintage dates from the next decade, this date saw circulation and was not hoarded by speculators. There are fewer known in Uncirculated than the population figures at NGC and PCGS would suggest and this is compounded by the fact that some of the examples graded MS60 to MS62 are questionable as to their "newness." This piece, which is sem-prooflike and very appealing, is free of any rub or wear and it would grade at least a point higher were it not for a small old scrape below the left side of the first S in STATES. The surfaces show a nice light rose and orange-gold patina and the reverse is very choice with especially clean fields. I have always believed that this is one of the most undervalued dates in the entire Three Dollar series and it is not easy to find much nicer than the present example.
While slightly more than 250,000 examples were struck, the 1872 is a scarce coin in Uncirculated and an issue that is very rare in properly graded MS62 and above. Most of the surviving Uncirculated examples are in the MS60 to MS61 range and are characterized by excessively abraded surfaces and bright, character-free luster. This example, which was recently uncovered in Europe, has just about the best color that I can recall having seen on an 1872 double eagle with very intense glowing orange-gold and pale greenish hues. There are some light scuffs in the fields but none are deep and detracting and the high spots lack any friction or signs of wear. There have been five auction records for MS61 examples of this issue since March 2008 and the results have ranged from a low of $8,625 to a high of $9,775. There is a huge price jump for this date from MS61 to MS62, making a high end MS61 coin like this a great value for the advanced double eagle collector.
One of only 30 Proofs struck. Looking at population statistics and auction records over the last two or three decades, I believe that there are no more than 12-15 Proofs known and only a handful of these grade PR64 or better. This example is a virtual Gem with strong black and white contrast between the frosted devices and the watery fields. There are no significant hairlines noted below magnification; the obverse has a pair of small mint-made lintmarks in the left field and a tiny dark spot immediately above the eagle's left beak. There are no auction records whatsoever for this date in Proof DCAM or Proof UCAM and the last 1872 quarter eagle in Proof to sell was Stack's 8/07: 3125 (a PCGS PR64CAM) that realized $20,700. This coin is tied with two others as the best Proof 1872 quarter eagle graded by PCGS; NGC has graded a pair of PR65's and a single PR66 with Ultra Cameo contrast. Proof gold coins of this rarity and significance are almost never offered for sale except at auction and few coins that I have offered for sale in some time offer the value that this fantastic quarter eagle possesses in spades.