One of the finest known 1895 Morgan dollars will be among the examples of early US coinage and classic proofs at Heritage Auction Galleries' December 2010 US Coin Auction on December 2-3.
Were this magnificent PR68-graded Ultra Cameo specimen of another date, say 1896, it would "merely" be one of the finest proof Morgan dollars known.
As an 1895, though, it becomes one of the half-dozen most desirable survivors from one of the half-dozen most desirable dates in the series.
Out of 880 proofs struck, just a half-dozen coins have been graded PR68 or finer by experts.
Among them (to date) are four PR68 Ultra Cameos at NGC, one PR68 Deep Cameo at PCGS, and one PR69 Ultra Cameo at NGC at the top of the list. As the reference books are sure to state, only proofs have been verified for this issue.
There are also many rumours of circulation-strike survivors and a few outside chances (such as one coin supposedly escaping destruction). However, research in recent years by scholars like Roger W Burdette has quashed such theories.
One of the 880 proofs, then, is the collector's only hope of completing the date set.
This 1895 proof issue is known to "come nice" like other dates nearby, and if not for the matter of the business strike, the 1895 would likely be known as an ideal type issue for the series.
This specimen shows off how gorgeous examples can be, as its deeply reflective mirrors and thickly frosted devices are beautiful and perfect opposites.
Just a hint of golden color touches the reverse rims, and only minor milky patina appears in the space under Liberty's chin.
Exquisitely preserved, as expected of the grade, and simply a marvelous coin, and will be auctioned by Heritage in Houston, Texas - in conjunction with the Money Show of the Southwest - on December 2. Online bids currently stand at $60,000.
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