Numismatic Americana Acquires Finest Known 1874 Proof $3 Gold Piece
By William Shamhart – Numismatic Americana
For the second time in as many months, Christine and I have purchased the finest known (top pop) specimen of key date in a very collectible series.
With a documented mintage of just 20 pieces, this coin, graded PR 65 DCAM by PCGS also carries the green seal of approval from CAC.
With deeply reflective fields and intensely frosted devices the eye appeal is unparalleled for the series, let alone the date. As stated above, this date has a known mintage of only 20 pieces. Looking at the PCGS population report we find the following:
In regular proof, that is non cameo or DCAM, there is 1 PR 63, 8 in PR 64, and 3 in PR 65. Undoubtedly there are resubmissions in those figures.
In Cameo there is one PR 65 CAM. Which by the way will be on display next week in Sacramento during the ANA’s spring show, at PCGS’ table, as part of a complete set of proof $3 gold pieces.
In Deep Cameo there is this piece. The lone PR 65 DCAM.
While the 1874 in proof has long been recognized a rarity by students of the series, the large mintage and availability of circulation strikes gives the illusion that this should be a common date. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, when one looks at the official mintages for “documented” proofs dating from 1859-1889, it becomes clear just how rare this coin is. There are only four dates with “official” mintages of 20; the 1874, 1875, 1877, and the 1878. Even the highly prized 1873 open 3 has a higher production figure of 25, of which PCGS has designated two as PR 65 DCAM. And the last sale of an 1873 in PCGS PR 65 DCAM was two and a half years ago in auction for $212,750. Granted there are no circulation strikes for the 1875, and few business strike 1873’s , creating extreme pressure by date collectors of the series. But from a strict mintage and population view point one can see that the opportunity to acquire the finest known example of any coin with such a low mintage, is one that doesn’t come along often.
This coin, as well as all of our new purchases, will be available for viewing and consideration next week in Sacramento.