Morton And Eden To Offer 1859 United States Proof Set On Behalf Of The Royal Mint Museum Specialist London auctioneers Morton and Eden announce the sale of important United States Proof coins which have remained in the possession of the Royal Mint Museum since their acquisition in 1859.
News-Antique.com - Feb 12,2013 - Included are the Finest Known 1859 Eagle and 1859 Half Eagle
Auction to be held in London:
Wednesday 6 March 2013 at 5.00pm (GMT)
Specialist London auctioneers Morton and Eden have great pleasure in announcing the sale of important United States Proof coins which have remained in the possession of the Royal Mint Museum since their acquisition in 1859. The Museum Trustees have taken the decision to deaccession these coins, which are exact duplicates of pieces which will remain in the collection, in order to provide resources to assist the funding of future acquisitions.
Originally presented to the Mint by Professor John H. Alexander of Baltimore as a double set from the eagles to cents, the coins were displayed for many years at the Royal Mint on Tower Hill, London and were published in W. J. Hockingís Catalogue of the Coins, Tokens, Medals, Dies, and Seals in the Museum of the Royal Mint, London, 1906.
After careful consideration by the Museumís Trustees, the decision has been taken to deaccession one of the two sets (with the single exception of the $3, where only one specimen from the original pair has survived). The resources generated by the sale will help fund future acquisitions for the Museumís collection, now housed at the Royal mintís present home at Llantrisant in South Wales.
During 2012, all 23 1859 Proofs in the Royal Mint Museum collection were submitted to PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) for grading. The silver coins and cents, toned following side-by-side public display of obverses and reverses in glazed cabinets over many decades, range in grade from Proof 63 to Proof 65. The gold coins are of especially remarkable quality and have been graded between Proof 64 Cameo and Proof 65+ Cameo.
1859 marked only the second year that the United States Mint had produced Proof sets for sale to the general public. There has been a reasonably solid survival rate for the base metal and silver denominations (from the cent to the silver dollar) and the examples to be offered in Morton and Edenís auction have been graded from Proof 63 to Proof 65. Individual estimates range from £250-300 ($400-475) for the 3 cents silver in Proof 63 (PCGS) to £3,500-4,500 ($5,500-7,000) for the silver dollar, graded Proof 64 (PCGS).
Few gold Proof coins were struck in 1859 and, of these, the great majority failed to find buyers so were consigned to the melting pot in the following year. The Royal Mint Museum examples are all among the finest-known specimens:
1859 Proof Gold Dollar: The standard references estimate that only about 20 are known to exist. The Royal Mint Museum example has been graded Proof 65 Cameo, and is the single finest example graded by PCGS.
Estimate: £7,000-10,000 ($11,000-16,000).
1859 Proof Quarter Eagle: Only 10 examples are known to have been submitted for grading to the two major services. At Proof 65 Cameo, this is tied with the specimen being retained by the Royal Mint Museum as the two second-finest