Pinnacle Rarities Purchases 1884 Proof Trade Dollar “Norweb Specimen”

Pinnacle Rarities is proud to announce the purchase and subsequent sale of one of only ten examples of the famed 1884 Proof Trade dollars. 1884 and the “sister coin” 1885 Proof trade dollars are two of the most coveted issues in all of numismatics. Their story is steeped in numismatic lore and their host pedigrees include many of the hallmark collections in numismatic history.

1884 trade pinn Pinnacle Rarities Purchases 1884 Proof Trade Dollar “Norweb Specimen”There is an official record of dies having been made for 1884, evidence of such was found (1917) within the estate of Charles Barber. However, no production is listed for either date and no specimens were given to the Mint Collection following normal Proof procedures. The issues were presumably held by then Mint Director Snowden abetting one William Idler. Idler was known to have close ties to Mint personnel. Idler provided the Mint with bullion replacement to acquire the examples. That practice was not uncommon at the time, and kept Mint records balanced. He then quietly stashed the examples in proof sets from the same years. The issues existed only as rumors until John W. Haseltine (son-in-law of Idler) began selling coins found among the 1884 and 1885 Proof sets in Idler’s estate.

The coins had remained in Haseltine’s possessions until his partner sold several examples to Virgil Brand in 1907. Brand became the principal buyer after the coins were disclosed. After a period, all the coins were dispersed into various collections. Subsequent appearances of any examples from either the 1884 or 1885 remain scarce even today. The pedigrees of all 10 1884s are well known and when one sells, its news.

No coin has traded for nearly ten years until this month, when Heritage Auctions sold a PR65 specimen at just shy of $1 million dollars. That sale prompted an advanced Nevada collector who held this gorgeous PCGS PR63 specimen to contact Kathleen Duncan of Pinnacle Rarities. PRI quietly placed the coin with a private individual currently assembling a phenomenal set of both business strike and proof Trade Dollars.

Kathleen commented “I had been trying to purchase this coin for a while, but the lack of recent trades made it very difficult for the previous owner to establish a fair price. When the PR65 sold for $1 million, we both agreed that the PR63 could be fairly valued at $600,000.” Pinnacle is pleased to place this exciting rarity into another world class collection that will continue the star-studded pedigree, and where it will likely reside for many years to come.

Pedigree. Unnamed Mint Official (likely Col. A. Loudon Snowden); William K. Idler; Capt. John W. Haseltine with Stephen K. Nagy; unknown intermediaries, probably Virgil M. Brand possibly Colonel Green; The King Farouk of Egypt; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby’s, Feb. 1954); Henry Norweb (Bowers and Merena, March 1988); American Coin Portfolios (Dan Drykerman); private New York Collection (Bowers and Merena Galleries, Inc. March,1992); Q. David Bowers (personal collection); Summit Rare Coins (Chris Napolitano); Morris Silverman Collection (Heritage, March 2002); U.S. Coins (Ken Duncan, Sr.); private Nevada collection; Pinnacle Rarities, Inc. (Kathleen Duncan); current owner.

About the Author:

Kathleen Duncan co-founded Pinnacle in 1992. Her focus is finding intrinsically rare coins at fair prices. Through a process of long-term fairness and integrity she has earned one of the industry’s most stellar reputations as well as the loyalty of her clientele. Pinnacle Rarities Inc., (Olympia, Washington) provides continuing professional service to a clientele composed of collectors, investors and dealers from all fifty states and several foreign countries. They do not try to be all things to the numismatic community. Rather, they specialize in handling the rarest, most desirable coins the industry has to offer.

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