EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND LIKELY FINEST KNOWN 1871 PROOF HALF EAGLE
Only 30 Proof half eagles were made in 1871 and as with all Proof gold denominations from this year, the survival rate is very low. It is believed that fewer than 10 Proof 1871 half eagles exist, including two impaired pieces and two impounded in museums. The present example is likely the finest known.
This superb example is essentially “as made” with enough contrast to qualify as Deep Cameo and a full “black and white” appearance. The fields are immaculate and lack any hairlines or mint-made imperfections. This piece was formerly graded PR66CAM by NGC and I can fully see why.
A PCGS PR65CAM example sold for $70,550 in the Heritage 9/14 auction. No other comparable piece has been available for years.
This is an important piece for the collector of Proof gold and it is likely the finest known Proof 1871 half eagle.
CAC has approved one in PR65CAM and this one coin in PR65+CAM.
Ex Heritage 2015 ANA: 4361 ($73,438; as NGC PR66CAM, Trompeter collection, 1980 ANA: 259.