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1831 Breen 1-A

Image Information

Type coin
Title 1831 Breen 1-A
Date 1831
Country U.S.
Grade PR62
Service PCGS
Denomination H1c
Variety Breen 1-A

1831 Proof Original Breen 1-A (Bronzed) R8. PCGS graded Proof 62 Brown. CAC. Uniform medium reddish brown. The fields are reflective but the bronzing mattes the mirrors so they are not nearly as deep as those seen on the "normal" brilliant proofs. Choice except for a trail of tiny ticks right of star 2 to the curl on the cheek. One of only 2 bronzed proofs known to Breen, both 1831 Originals, and the other is in the Mint Cabinet housed at the Smithsonian. This is the final proof listed in the Breen/Hanson census on page 342 in the Breen reference. Walter Breen claimed that the United States Mint experimented with the new "bronzed" finish, apparently first used by Bolton & Watt's Soho Mint in Birmingham, England, when samples of the bronzing powder were sent to our mint by the Soho Mint (see page 49 in Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977). In addition to the two 1831 Original Bronzed Proof Half Cents, a very limited number of proof large cents were also bronzed by the mint (several of the 1829 Newcomb-6 and one of the 1834 Newcomb-7 Proof-Only strikes), apparently in a process that involved coating a normal planchet with bronzing powder before striking. Breen speculated that the U.S. Mint might have struck a few 1829 Bronzed Proof Half Cents as well, but he never saw one. So if you want a Bronzed Proof large cent, you have choices. But if you want a Bronzed Proof half cent, this lot appears to be your only option. Weight 84.3 grains. Our grade is Proof-60+. The attribution, Bronzed feature and Missouri Cabinet provenance are shown on the PCGS label. PCGS population 1; the only Bronzed example graded. (PCGS # 1186) Estimate Value $75,000 - UP Ex New Netherlands Coin Co. 51st Catalogue, 6/19/1958:1205 ($165.00)-R. Henry Norweb Family collection (The Honorable Raymond Henry Norweb [October 1, 1983] and Emery May Holden Norweb)-Emery May Holden Norweb (March 27, 1984)-Raymond Henry Norweb, Jr., Auctions by Bowers and Merena, Inc., 10/12/1987:77-R. Tettenhorst-Missouri Cabinet (Mocab 31.1.6).

Price Realized: $115000

Images and description courtesy of Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, Los Angeles, CA.

From Goldberg's sale of the Missouri Cabinet Collection, 1/26/2014, lot 121.

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