1833 $5 Large Date PR (PCGS# 8167)

The Gold Rush Collection

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1833 $5 Large Date PR67 PCGS. Ex:Pittman. When this coin was last offered for sale at public auction more than seven years ago, David Akers said: "A magnificent, stunning coin which, in my opinion, is the premier coin in the entire Pittman Collection." It is indeed a magnificent piece, and in our opinion, the only coins that rival this piece in sheer numismatic interest in this current sale are the two Brasher doubloons. As a date, the 1833 is very rare with only 60-75 examples known of both the Large Date and Small Date variants. Only two proofs are known for the 1833 half eagle, both of which are Large Dates, and the other is permanently impounded in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian. That coin also is "only" a PR63. This coin was one of John Pittman's most significant acquisitions. The story is now well known, but for those who may not have heard it when John Pittman traveled to Cairo in 1954 to buy coins out of the Farouk Collection, he took out a second mortgage on his house. He certainly must have had an understanding wife, but as time showed he had a unerring eye for quality and value. He paid an astonishingly high price for this coin, 210 Egyptian pounds with a 5% government surcharge, which was the equivalent of $635 in 1954. As significant as that amount sounds in 1954 dollars, it pales in comparison to the actual value of this essentially unique coin in today's marketplace. When Pittman's holdings were sold in 1997-98, this coin realized $467,500. The viewer of this coin will come away with two impressions. First is the incredible method of manufacture. The proofing process used to strike this coin is every bit the equal of the mass-produced proofs from the 1870s or 1880s. Obviously, this coin was produced with great care and most likely was intended to showcase the abilities of the newly opened Second Mint, which opened the same year this coin was struck. The second impression is the incredible, almost unequaled quality of this piece.
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