The reported mintage of the Proof 1876 $20 gold was a remarkably small 45 pieces. Even so, this mintage was substantially higher than the other dates in the 1874 to 1878 period, each of which tallied out at a mere 20 Proofs. Was the increased mintage because of the centennial year? Did the Mint anticipate increased sales because of that special anniversary? That may have been the case, but the number of survivors suggests that the Mint failed to sell all 45 of the 1876 Proofs. We've been able to identify nine distinctly different examples, with the possible existence of a couple more, leading to an estimated population of between 12 and 15 Proofs. Among this miniscule population, there are only two or three outstanding examples. The best is the NGC PR65UCAM from the Bass and Simpson collections. Another nice example (though we haven't seen a modern grade on it) is the brilliant Proof from the Garrett collection. One more standout is a PCGS PR64+DCAM. From there, the quality drops off, leaving a cluster of PR62 and PR63 examples.