By James Matthews, Senior Numismatist & Consignment Director, U.S. Coins
This extraordinary 1882 Proof double eagle is graded Proof-65 Ultra Cameo by NGC and offers dramatic cameo contrast. Glassy, deeply reflective fields form a splendid backdrop to fully defined, frosty textured devices on both sides. The lack of distracting marks is particularly desirable in the fields since it allows full appreciation of the handsome "orange peel" texture for which many later date Proof Liberty gold coins are known. The original Proof mintage for the 1882 double eagle was 59 pieces. From that small issue, perhaps 13 to 15 survive today in all grades; this Gem example is clearly one of the finest known. Furthermore it offers the exquisite Ultra Cameo contrast between the perfectly mirrored fields and highly frosted devices.