By Greg Cohen, Numismatist and Consignment Director, U.S. and World Coins; Based on the catalog description by James Matthews
It is an honor to have been chosen to present this absolutely marvelous, 1858 half eagle, graded Proof-66* Ultra Cameo (NGC)! This stunning rarity, one of only five examples thought to exist and two of those are impounded, one in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian and the other in the collection of the American Numismatic Society. This coin is an old friend, first offered by us in Stack’s March 1985 sale, lot 807, where it appeared as part of the Donald S. Hopkins Collection of U.S. Gold Coins, and sold for $50,600 to Harry W. Bass. Bass retained this coin until his collection was sold by us (Bowers and Merena) in four parts in 1999 and 2000; this coin appeared in Part IV as lot 469. The last appearance of this coin was in a Heritage auction in 2006, where it sold for $195,500.