So...You've Decided to Collect Proof Gold

So...You've Decided to Collect Proof Gold

Imagine, if you will, that the coin market is a sushi bar. You look in the cases and you see the familiar fish: salmon, albacore, mackerel, and regular tuna. Off in the corner, in a special case there is the prized (and pricey) fatty tuna (or Toro) wrapped in special paper and brought out for special customers only. That fish, in our Numismatic Sushi Bar, is Proof Gold: rare, unusual, and very expensive.

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1890 $10.00 NGC PR64 UCAM CAC

A total of 63 Proofs were struck; my best estimate is that around 25 to 30 are known today with most in the PR63 to PR65 range. This piece has the eye appeal and general appearance of a Gem with just a few light hairlines keeping it out of the PR65 mark and a $45,000-50,000 price tag. It is extremely challenging to find accurately graded PR64 gold coins from this era and the majority of nice 64's tend to find their way, sooner or later, into PR65 holders. After I purchased this coin, I gave it some thought and came up with this conclusion: for a touch under $30,000, it would be very hard to imagine a better value in the arena of Proof gold. You can find smaller denomination Proof gold coins that are rarer than this (I have sold some amazing Proof gold dollars and quarter eagles in the last sixty days) but larger denomination Proof gold is very expensive and extremely hard to locate right now. A gorgeous coin and an item that I think makes a lot of sense to salt away as a medium to long term investment.

Ex Heritage 2012 FUN: 4989 where it sold for $29,900.

1880 $1.00 NGC PR66 CAC

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.