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1896 $10 PR65+ DCAM PCGS #98836

CAC. While the official mintage of 78 proof 1896 ten dollar coins might suggest that the date is relatively available, circumstantial evidence suggests that that output was an overreach. Not only were mintages of proof eagles lower in the next two years (69 and 67 pieces, respectively), but the estimated survival of the 1896 ten dollar proofs is close to that of the 1897, with the 1898 pieces seeing a spike in the survival rate despite a slipping mintage. PCGS suggests that 35 to 45 specimens survive for the 1896 and 1897 dates, compared to "40 to 50 known" for the 1898 issue. The PCGS Population Report lists 25 certification events for the 1896 ten dollar proof, 16 with Cameo contrast and nine labeled Deep Cameo. (It should be remembered that the period from 1896 to 1898 was a high-water mark for the cameo effect in U.S. silver and gold proof coinage.) A majority of the coins are in the PR64 range; among Deep Cameo pieces, this is one of just two certified by PCGS with three numerically finer as Deep Cameo, all graded PR66 (2/12). Effectively black-and-gold contrast is on display with this Deep Cameo Gem, thanks to sharply struck, thickly frosted devices paired with fields that combine so-called "orange-peel" texture with a great overall mirror finish. A thin, curving blemish just off the bridge of Liberty's nose and a depression to the left of star 9 are the most reliable pedigree markers. (Upgrade from 65). PCGS 65DCAM 2/3 (02/12) PCGS 65+DCAM 1/15 (05/15)