Abe Kosoff, circa 1970 - Sam Bloomfield (purchased prior to 1979) - Sam and Rie Bloomfield Foundation Collection - Sotheby's 12/1996:53, $20,900 - Tacasyl Collection - Bonham’s 9/2013:1016, $93,600
Dr. Robert Loewinger Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3135, $51,750
The Proof 1914 Half Eagle is very rare. Perhaps two-thirds of the original mintage of 125 Proofs has survived and approximately forty to fifty examples have been certified. The matte finish is fragile, thus it is difficult to find top-quality specimens. The grades seen most frequently on coins of this date are PR64 and PR65, with equal populations at each level. PR66 examples are extremely rare, and PR67's exist but are rarely encountered.
The best advice for collectors is to look for examples that have not been dipped out -- such coins will have a pale, almost white-ish color. Traditionally, the dipping has been done to remove copper toning spots, which some collectors find objectionable. However, there is a rising number of collectors who favor coins with original, unmolested "crust." These are coins that are truly "as made" and which have been spared the various methods of "improving" a coin's grade.
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