1881 $3, CA PR (PCGS# 88045)

2004 Orlando, FL (FUN) Platinum Night

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1881 $3 PR65 Cameo PCGS. The 1881 is a well known rarity due to its extremely low mintage (even by three dollar standards) of just 500 business strikes and 54 proofs. Of the 54 specimens struck, the number of surviving pieces is estimated to be about half of the original production. Proofs of this date, while diagnostics are well documented, have the unusual trait of showing just a bit of cartwheel in the fields. They also are among the best preserved of all threes with only a few that are noticeably impaired. Taglione (1986) was of the opinion that "1881 Proofs rank amongst the best preserved of the series and there are some really exceptional specimens of this date...I would dare claim that it is distinctly possible (likely?) that there are more high quality Proofs known than counterpart business strikes. Certainly from a market availability standpoint, Proofs of 63 or better quality enter the market much more frequently than business strikes at that numerical grade level." However, to further complicate matters, Akers (1979) states: "...deceptive first strikes exist that are virtually indistinguishable at first glance from actual proofs. Close inspection reveals the differences, however. On the business strikes, the date is level and the numerals are directly between the corresponding letters. Also, on the proofs, the outside row of dots of the tassel at the right side of the wreath above the 3 appear detached from the rest, whereas on the business strikes they are clearly connected. I can say that in the case of the 1881, I have seen several proofs called first strike uncs!" The Gem quality representative offered here is certainly among the finer pieces extant of this elusive date, with a hint of dappled haziness over glassy, boldly contrasting surfaces. Under light magnification, a wispy lintmark is noticed in the left obverse field before Liberty's mouth, the only noticeable interruption in the impeccable fabric of this well preserved 1881 proof. Population: 1
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