US Coins

Market Analysis: Ultra Cameo Proof Coronet half eagle sells for $72,000

The profiled 1900 Coronet gold $5 half eagle offered at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Rarities Night auction in November is among the finest certified, grading Proof 67 Ultra Cameo.

Numismatic Guaranty Corp. uses the designation Ultra Cameo for Proof coins with deeply mirrored fields and bold contrast on both sides of the coin, reserving the term Cameo to apply to coins with more moderate contrast on both sides. 

Stack’s Bowers observes, “Vivid medium gold patina and razor sharp striking detail are evident throughout, the surfaces silky smooth in texture and bordering on pristine.”

Perhaps the U.S. Mint expected demand to increase in 1900, much like how a century later people in 1999 eagerly anticipated the year 2000. Production of Proof half eagles increased to 230 pieces in 1900, up from just 99 the year prior. Despite the significantly increased mintage, the 1900 coin is only slightly more available than other Proof half eagles from the last decade of the series and much of the Proof mintage was likely destroyed at the Philadelphia Mint. 

Proof U.S. gold coins have been referred to the caviar of U.S. coins. The cataloger of the offered half eagle concluded, “The coin offered here offers superior technical quality and eye appeal and will be just right for inclusion in a high grade Proof gold type or date set.” It sold for a hearty $72,000.

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