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History behind pre-1900 proofs: Post your favorite pre-1900 Proof/CAM/DCAM

AvocetAvocet Posts: 226 ✭✭✭✭
edited January 22, 2023 8:45AM in U.S. Coin Forum

This coin and recent posts have prompted me to research the history of proof coins from the U.S. mint. I believe the U.S. Mint began making proof coins around 1817, and began selling proof coins directly to collectors in 1861, 30 years before this coin.

What I have turned up suggests that the U.S. Mint initially made proof coins as specimens to check die quality, but there must also have been an effort to produce these coins to create quality specimens to share with collectors and visitors to the mint. I assume that the creation of proof, cameo, and deep cameo specimens in 1891 was in answer to the demand, but the interest must not have been very high as so few were made.

I have always enjoyed this coin in my collection, and as with other coins, the background stories for them add so much to the value for me. 1891 was a common date for this coin, but very few proofs/CAM/DCAM for 1891 5C exist.

Your thoughts? More to add to the history? Have a favorite pre-1900 Proof/CAM/DCAM?

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    AvocetAvocet Posts: 226 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    I think that the Gobrecht Dollar is the most common pre 1858 U.S. Proof coin. That was the year the mint starting offering Proof coins to the public on a systematic basis.

    This one is a PR-62, CAC. The mint probably made an effort to make the coins in the Proof format because they were re-introducing the silver dollar coin after a hiatus of over 30 years. This one is one of the 1,000 pieces issued in 1836 that were issued with the eagle flying "onward and upward" on the reverse.

    This one has the Cameo citation although I find it hard to see. It is graded PR-63, CAM

    This one should have gotten the Cameo citation in my opinion. It is graded PR-64.


    I have noticed a greater prevalence of proofs in the Gobrechts, and your info makes sense. These are great pieces, and the cameo designations are interesting to study. I can see what you mean....

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I do not have any old proof coins. Years ago, I purchased the modern proof sets from the Mint... They are all packed away in a box I have not opened in over twenty years. I also purchased the proof ASE's and AGE's up until about 2007.... After that, only special issues. Those old proofs are really nice. Cheers, RickO

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love the early proofs and enjoy explaining to others how little of a premium they were sold at over face. If only that practice had continued today...

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

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    DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @winesteven That half dollar really is outstanding, the frost on that reverse is something else.

    Some exceptional coins posted in this thread , all of them!

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    pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    I do love the early proofs…… okay so I guess I love ALL proofs
    PR66

    PR64CAM CAC

    PR64+ CAC

    PR63BM CAC

    These look great.

    Your Liberty Proof gold isn’t too bad either 😃

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    OldIndianNutKaseOldIndianNutKase Posts: 2,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a few. Four different types:




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