Despite Walter Breen's notes about the proof coins of this issue, we believe that a single die pair was used to coin all such pieces. It is generally believed that 15 proofs were coined on April 28, 1854, and it is likely that several more were produced later in the year. Today, we have records of 13 different proofs, although this list may include some duplication. A realistic total seems to be 10 to 12 different coins. When this coin was offered in the Pittman Sale, David Akers suggested that only seven to 10 pieces exist, and recently, Dave Bowers suggested 10 to 14 coins in his 2005 study of this series.
Nearly all survivors are in the lower numerical grades of proof, with a few impaired pieces. In fact, only one or two Gem quality pieces are known. David Akers wrote: 'This would seem to indicate that most of the proofs eventually must have ended up in the hands of non-numismatic people who did not know how to care for them properly.'
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.