NGC Certifies Unique Proof 1854 $10
Posted on 2/14/2012
NGC recently identified and certified a proof 1854 $10 gold piece. The coin grades Proof 55 Cameo. While a small number of lower denomination proof coins are known from this year, notably examples of the first year of issue $3 gold pieces, this newly identified example is the only known proof 1854 $10.
The coin was submitted to NGC by an authorized dealer based in Europe and no information concerning the coin’s provenance was provided. Although submitted as a regular issue example, it was immediately recognized by NGC as a great rarity. Lightly circulated, it nonetheless possesses deeply mirrored fields, frosted devices and squared rims, unlike any other known 1854 Gold Eagle. More telling, this coin was struck using the same reverse dies as known proof eagles dated from 1840 through 1848. During that era, reverse dies for proof coinage were saved and used to strike coins in subsequent years. No other proof eagles struck at Philadelphia are known from the period 1849 through 1856.
Walter Breen, in his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, 1722-1989, relates a story of proof gold coinage of 1854. Officials from the city of Bremen, Germany visited the Philadelphia mint, and offered gifts of their coinage, which were placed in the Mint’s cabinet collection. In exchange, a complete set of 1854 proof coins were presented to Bremen for its museum. For the 1854 $10, Breen listed a mintage of “1+,” meaning that at least one example was struck. This set of coins remained in Bremen until World War II, when the city was occupied and the coins went missing from the museum. Breen states that, periodically since, examples of proof coins dated 1854 from this set have been offered. It is unknown if this 1854 $10 formed part of that set.
|1854 $10 Proof
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