1864 $10 PCGS PR65 Deep Cameo

$474,000.00 USD

This Civil War era Proof gold rarity was produced to the extent of just 50 coins, all of which were delivered on February 11, 1864. These special pieces were offered to contemporary collectors as part of complete Proof sets, but amidst the political and economic chaos of the time there were few buyers. John W. Dannreuther (2018) conjectures that only about half of the mintage was actually distributed to contemporary collectors, the balance of the mintage destroyed through melting or disposed of by release into commercial channels. The author provides an estimate of just 14 to 16 survivors in all grades, which is roughly comparable to the PCGS CoinFacts estimate of 15 to 20 known.

Since 10 dollars represented a significant amount of money in the 19th century, some of the coins that were purchased may have been spent by owners who found themselves in tight financial straits in the hard times after the Civil War. Such coins may not be recognizable as proofs, even if they still survive today.

One set of dies was used to strike all the proof eagles in 1864. This was the only use of the obverse die, with the date placed far to the left and slanting down dramatically from left to right. The reverse die was also used to strike proofs in 1863 and 1865 and shows die polish in the bottom of the clear spaces in the shield, with the second vertical stripe thinned at the top, and a raised artifact on the O in OF. These diagnostics make it easy to distinguish between proofs and prooflike business strikes.