While the reported mintage for this issue is a very high 154 coins, it is probable that many were melted after going unsold. Today, it is doubtful if more than forty or so survive with most in the PR63 to PR64 range. This example is tied with a few others as the finest 1860 gold dollar graded by a third-party service and I feel that items like this are tremendously undervalued when compared to other areas of United States numismatics. As for the coin itself, it is a full-blown Gem with great contrast and surfaces that are free of hairlines. There are a few microscopic planchet imperfections in the obverse fields as seen on nearly all gold Proofs of this era and the reverse can be quickly identifieid by the presence of four tiny mint-made lintmarks at the center. The last similar example to sell at auction was a PCGS/CAC PR66 (not given a cameo designation but close to Deep Cameo, in my opinion) that sold for a strong $27,600 i9n the Heritage 2012 FUN auction. Thie present piece is clearly finer than Heritage 1/07: 3367 (graded PR66 CAM by NGC that brought $19,550. An important coin for the advanced collector of gold dollars.
Funny thing: as much as I dislike business strike Morgan dollars (I have basically shunned this popular series since I was a kid) I've always liked this series in Proof. In the not-so-distant past it was possible to find superbly toned Proofs of this series and I've personally owned a few pieces that had simply glorious color. But with the advent of the Ultra Cameo/Deep Cameo designation, the grading services have tacitly encouraged dealers to dip toned Morgans in the hope of getting a high grade with a spiffy adjective. That's why nearly every Proof Morgan you see these days is blast white. This "old school" Gem has superb deep multi-colored toning on the obverse and reverse with strong underlying reflectiveness. There is enough contrast seen between the portrait of Liberty and the fields to wonder why NGC didn't at least designate this as a Cameo. As a date, the 1880 is among the more available Proofs of this design and it tends to be well-made. I think Proof type of this quality remains an excellent value in today's market and this superb example would be a perfect representative of a Morgan Dollar for the collector who wants one special piece for his set.