1897 $20.00 NGC PR64 ULTRA CAM

One of 86 struck. There are an estimated thirty or so known Proofs for the date and this tends to be an issue that is not often seen with full deep cameo contrast. This piece has a stunning black and white appearance with nicely frosted devices offset by watery fields that are free of hairlines. Were it not for a few very small ticks in the obverse fields, this piece would be a Gem and it would be an $80,000-90,000 coin. There have been no PR64 DC or PR64 UC examples of the 1897 double eagle to sell at auction since the Goldberg 5/08: 4474 example (slabbed by PCGS) that realized $46,000 and which had very questionable orange-gold color on both sides. If you have been searching for a Proof Liberty Head double eagle in I believe is a very practical grade and price range, this might be exactly what you've been waiting for.

1880 $1.00 PCGS PR62 CAM

One of only 36 Proofs struck. This coin is at least a PR64 if not a full-blown Gem but it has been net graded by PCGS on account of some edge marks at 2:00 on the obverse. I'm not certain but this might be an ex: Kaufman Collection coin that was sold by RARCOA years ago; some of these coins were mounted by tacks to boards for display and were partially damaged on their edges as a result. The 1880 dollar is quite rare as a Proof with probably no more than eighteen to twenty pieces known from its small original mintage figure. This is likely the most affordable slabbed Proof example of this date in existence.

1885 $1.00 NGC PR64 CAM

1105 Proofs struck. Mintages for Proof gold dollars shot up dramatically beginning in 1882 and by the mid-1880's, over 1,000 per year were being produced. That said, survivors from 1885 are not common with the number known estimated at about 150-200. What's great about coins like this is that they are attractive, choice and rare but they are well within the budget of many gold collectors. This specific example would grade at least a PR65 if not higher were it not for a tiny mint-made dimple in the middle of the left obverse field. Otherwise, the coin has a great appearance with very reflective surfaces that have almost no hairlines and strong contrast between the devices and the fields. While not quite a Deep Cameo, this piece has better than average contrast for the date. At this price level, you have to love this 1885 dollar and it would make a great coin for the collector who has always wanted to own a piece of Proof gold but whose budget doesn't allow for major five-figure expenditures.

1867 $5.00 NGC PR63 CAM

50 struck; around a dozen or so are known today. As with all proofs of this year the comparably "high" mintage of 50 is misleading as it is clear that a number went to the melting pot after going unsold. To date, NGC has graded just six Proof 1867 half egales while PCGS has graded eight; this figure, of course, includes regrades, crossovers, etc. This example is among the few affordable Proof half eagles of this era that is available. It has fully reflective surfaces that show no signs of cleaning but there are a few contact marks in the obverse fields; the reverse is clean and choice. There hasn't been a Proof of this date/denomination sold at auction since December 2009 and there are just eleven auction records since 2000. A Gem Proof example of this issue would cost at least three times the asking price of this piece if it were even available. An important piece of Proof gold for the savvy specialist.

1846 $2.50 NGC PR64 CAM CAC

Before the U.S. Mint began producing Proof gold coins in any sort of quantity in 1858, a limited number of proofs were struck in certain years. In 1846, it is belived that around four or five gold proof sets were made and today there are four 1846 quarter eagles known including two that are impounded in museums (Smithsonian and ANS). The other known example is the Trompeter/Eliasberg coin that appears to be graded PR65 by PCGS; it last sold in the 2/91 Superior sale for $52,800. The current coin, from the famous Pittman collection, has a pedigree going back well over a century and it is sourced from an original 1846 proof set that has been broken up. It has the look of a Gem with superb rich amber color over very reflective surfaces that are nearly free of hairlines. An old scratch on the obverse between stars nine and ten removes this from a higher grade and serves as immediate identification. With the exception of the 1841, Proof quarter eagles from the 1840's and early 1850's are virtually unknown and tend to be come available at major auctions. This is a remarkable opportunity for the collector or investor to own a truly monumental piece of American numismatics and it is a remarkable combination of rarity, beauty and provenance.

Ex Heritage 1/11: 5335 ($106,375), earlier part of an 1846 Proof set in the Pittman sale (lot 1712) that brought $522,500; obtained by Pittman from Numismatic Gallery in 1949 and before this part of an original 1846 gold proof set that was in Ed Frossard's November 1892 sale.