Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: Denver
Mintage: 34,533
Catalog: KM-211
Obverse Designer: Robert Graham
Reverse Designer: Robert Graham
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 16.7180g
AGW: 0.4837oz
Melt Value: $641.10 (8/26/2016)
Diameter: 27mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1984 D OLYMPICS $10 PF obverse 1984 D OLYMPICS $10 PF reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The success of the Washington Half Dollar program in 1982 eased the way for additional commemorative legislation, and the first of these new coins were issued for the 23rd Olympiad hosted by Los Angeles in 1984. The simplicity of the Washington program, however, was quickly overwhelmed by the grandiosity and greed that had ultimately brought about the suspension of commemorative coinage in 1954. That the concept of commemoratives could survive such abuses was a testament to the great desire of collectors to continue the series.

The original plan was to coin proof and uncirculated editions of two silver dollar types in 1983 and 1984, respectively, plus a single type of gold eagle, or ten-dollar piece in 1984. This latter coin was particularly welcomed as the first gold coin to emanate from the U. S. Mint since 1933. While the Mint had been producing the American Arts series of commemorative gold bullion pieces since 1980, these were merely medals and lacked the cache accorded by the hobby to actual coins.

The commercial sponsors of the Olympic coin bill, however, quickly saw dollar signs and began agitating for a long series of commemorative coins comparable to that issued by Canada for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Ignoring the fact that these coins had been poor performers in the aftermarket, Congress seemed poised to give in to such demands. Ultimately, a compromise was reached in which the two silver dollars would be coined at three different mints and the gold eagle at a single mint, making the eagle very attractive to prospective buyers. Before the ordering period ended, however, minting of the gold piece was extended to no less than four mints, a breach of faith that many collectors resented at the time.

The silver dollar of 1983 was primarily the work of U. S. Mint Chief Engraver Elizabeth Jones. Known for some truly outstanding coins, this is one of her lesser efforts. It depicts on the obverse a discus thrower patterned after an ancient sculpture by the Greek artist Myron. Three staggered images of the athlete are used to simulate the effect of motion. In addition to the Olympic Games logo and the usual statutory inscriptions appear the date 1983, below it a letter identifying the place of minting, and at the bottom of the coin the initials of its designer, ‘EJ.’ The reverse of this coin shows the head and upper body of the American eagle in profile. The initials ‘EJ-JM’ behind the eagle’s neck are those of Jones and her collaborator, fellow U. S. Mint Engraver John Mercanti.

This silver dollar was coined in uncirculated finish at the U. S. Mints in Philadelphia (‘P’ mintmark), Denver (‘D’) and San Francisco (‘S’). The latter also struck proofs. Philadelphia produced more of the uncirculated version than were necessary for the three-coin sets, and these extra pieces were earmarked for sale as single pieces for those not desiring the complete set. The biggest seller of all was the proof edition, and this pattern would hold true for all subsequent commemorative coin series.

A similar minting spread was employed for the 1984 proof dollar, with three-coin sets of uncirculated pieces being offered alongside single ‘P’ Mint uncirculated coins and ‘S’ Mint proofs. Both sides of this coin were designed by sculptor Robert Graham, an individual not associated with the U. S. Mint. For the obverse Graham replicated his figural piece from the entrance to the Los Angeles Coliseum, site of the opening and closing ceremonies for these games and of certain other events. The date 1984 appears at the bottom on the coin, while the mintmark is placed on one of the Coliseum pathways. The reverse portrays a somewhat dovelike American eagle placed in a pose that reminded many collectors of the 1921-35 Peace Silver Dollar. The artist’s initials, ‘RG,’ appear to the left of the rocky crag upon which the eagle is perched.

Collectors were highly critical of the coin’s obverse, with its headless male and female torsos. Nevertheless, sales of this dollar were comparable to those of the 1983 entry. As before, the proof edition vastly outsold the uncirculated coins.

The gold eagle for the 23rd Olympiad was an eagerly anticipated coin, yet the publication of its design brought further disappointment. The obverse features two runners, one male and one female, carrying the Olympic torch, and the hobby quickly dubbed this tableau as “see Dick and Jane run.” The date of coining appears to the right of the runners, with the mintmark below. At the seven o’clock position appear the initials of John Mercanti (‘JM’), and James Peed (‘JP’), also of the Mint staff, who furnished the sketch from which Mercanti worked. The reverse of this coin seems to have been an afterthought, as Mercanti prepared just a simple rendering of the heraldic eagle seen many times before in American coinage. The initials ‘JM’ are placed prominently below it.

Sales of the gold eagle were lower than for the silver coins, due to their high intrinsic value and resulting high issue price. The mints at Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco produced roughly similar numbers of these coins in proof format, though the latter made some extras for single-piece sales. Both proofs and uncirculated pieces were coined at the West Point Bullion Depository in New York State, and these carry its distinctive ‘W’ below the date. Though West Point had been making coins anonymously since 1974, this marked the debut of its mintmark, which went a long way toward boosting sales of the popular proof edition. Each of the silver dollars were included the Prestige Proof Sets for 1983 and 1984, respectively. These featured the commemorative coins, in addition to the regular line-up of proof cent through half dollar.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/26/2014

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1984 D OLYMPICS $10 PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 770 770 770 770 770 770 770 780 810 820 1200

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1920
Low Grade: 61
Average Grade: 69
High Grade: 70


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/19/2001 PCGS PF 68   Ultra Cameo Teletrade Auction 1408, 1408/Lot# 1711 $295.40
1/16/2006 NGC PF 69   Ultra Cameo David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction #70, 75/Lot# 1499 $3,795.00
1/15/2008 PCGS PF 67   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions 2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) US Coin Final Session #455, 455/Lot# 11221 $460.00
2/15/2010 NGC PF 69   Ultra Cameo Stack's Bowers The March 2010 Baltimore Auction, 33/Lot# 3001 $552.00
1/19/2012 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Thursday Modern Coin Auctions Session(1), 241204/Lot# 19368 $805.00
2/12/2012 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/12/2012, 7/Lot# 32774 $907.50
7/25/2013 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Thursday Modern Coin Auction Session(1), 241331/Lot# 16012 $658.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1984 D OLYMPICS $10 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1013104710791115115111871225126413031343138414261545167218071949209922582426260216992455
1024105810911127116312001238127713161357139814661587171718541999215223142485260219510
0000001238127713161357139814661587171718541999215223142485260200
0000001251129013301370141215051630176219022049220523702543260200
1984 D OLYMPICS $10 PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1082111711521189122712661304134513871428147215151641177319132062221823842558274218012588
1094112911641202124012791318135914011443148615571685182019632114227324422619274220630
0000001318135914011443148615571685182019632114227324422619274200
0000001331137314141457150115991729186620122166232925002681274200
1984 D OLYMPICS $10 PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1155119212291267130713481388143014741517156316091739187820242179234225142696288719072727
1167120412411280132013611402144414881532157816521785192620752233239925742759288721800
0000001402144414881532157816521785192620752233239925742759288700
0000001416145915021547159316951831197521272287245626352823288700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 70 UC
Points: 2727
Owner: Alaska Coin Nut
 
Grade: PF 70 UC
Points: 2727
Owner: Bruce Laquster
 
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