Series notes: $1 Gold (Proof)

Proof gold dollars were issued from 1849 through 1889, with a few exceptions. There were three types of gold dollars, including the Liberty Head (1849-1854), Indian Princess Head, Small Head (1854-1856), and Indian Princess Head, Large Head (1856-1889). All three types were designed by James B. Longacre and were issued in proof finishes.

Generally, proof versions of the Indian Princess Head, Large Head gold dollars are the most relatively common of the three types. However, all proof gold dollars are scarce. The scarcest gold dollars include the 1849, 1850, 1854 (Type 2) and 1855 ? all of these have but a few survivors each and are worth six figures apiece. Of the Indian Princess Head, Large Head gold dollars, all proofs minted from 1856 into the early 1880s were minted in small quantities of 20 to 100 pieces, with the exceptions of the 1860 and 1861, which boast more generous mintages of 154 and 349 pieces, respectively.

Proof gold dollars increasingly became popular holiday gifts during the 1880s, and demand pushed mintages for the proof dollars into the 1,000 range. Thus, proof gold dollars from the 1880s are the most frequently encountered in the marketplace. All cameos are scarce and deep cameos are rare.

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