1875自由帽半鹰 PCGS Proof 65
1875 Liberty Head Half Eagle. JD-1. Rarity-7-. Proof-65 Cameo (PCGS). CAC. A phenomenal example of this rare and seldom offered date in the Liberty Half eagle series. Solidly graded as a Gem Proof, both sides of this beautiful specimen possess vivid golden-orange patina. The devices are sharply struck with a soft satin texture that contrasts nicely with deep pools of reflectivity in the fields. Carefully preserved with outstanding visual appeal, this coin would serve as a focal point in even the finest numismatic cabinet. With just 20 pieces produced and an extant population of eight to 10 coins (per John W. Dannreuther, 2018), the Proof 1875 half eagle is a legendary rarity in its own right. This date is of even further significance to advanced gold collectors given that the Philadelphia Mints circulation strike issue of the year is also a low mintage rarity with just 200 coins produced and an estimated extant population of fewer than 10 pieces. And given the absence of any Mint State survivors, collectors have historically used one of the beautiful high grade Proofs, as here, to fill the void in Gem quality collection of circulation strike Liberty half eagles.
The number of Proof 1875 half eagles available for private ownership is even more limited than the aforementioned estimate might imply. At least three examples are impounded in museum collections: two examples in the Smithsonian Institution and one coin in the ANS, leaving as few as 5 examples in collector hands. This particular piece is a significant survivor of this issue, ranked first among the Significant Examples listed by John Dannreuther (2018) and also topping the census listed by PCGS CoinFacts.
It is one of just two examples certified by PCGS at the Proof-65 Cameo level and none rank finer in any category. Perhaps most significantly, it is the only specimen for this issue to receive approval by CAC, testifying to the truly superior quality. Ex Heritages sale of January 1999, lot 8145; Richard Genaitis; Heritages sale August 2001, lot 7849; Donald E. Bently; Heritages sale of January 2014, lot 5462.