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1883 Registry Set

1883 Registry Set

The year was 1883. Buffalo Bill Cody created "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show." A volcano on the small Indonesian island of Krakatoa erupted, resulting in the deadliest natural disaster of the 19th Century. Time zones were created. The U.S. Mint was busy producing Proof examples of ten different non-gold coins.

Fast forward 130 years to 2013. Old World Coin which is located in McHenry, IL, has assembled the finest known 1883 Proof Set on record according to the Set Registry of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). The set is titled "OWC's 1883 Cameo Set" and competition details can be viewed on the pcgs.com website, while the actual coins can be viewed at Old World Coin upon request. PCGS was founded in 1985 and is an authentication and grading service for rare coins and is one of the foremost grading services in North America and abroad. One of their innovations was the Set Registry, which enables collectors to safely display their PCGS-graded coins in a secure online environment and compare their collections to some of the greatest ever assembled.

Jerry E. Jones, proprietor of Old World Coin, chose to assemble the 1883 set because it was a "transition" year, meaning some of the coins were changing design during the year, some more than once, creating a larger and more diverse set than most with ten different coins. The ten coins in the set, their grades, population and higher populations are as follows:


Coin       Grade         Population        Pop. Higher
Indian Cent   Proof 65 Cameo   3   1
Nickel 3-Cent Piece   Proof 67 Cameo   38   0
Shield Nickel   Proof 67 Cameo   7   1
Liberty Head Nickel No Cents     Proof 67 Cameo   12   0
Liberty Head Nickel w/Cents   Proof 66 Cameo   33   4
Seated Liberty Dime   Proof 67 Cameo   7   0
Seated Liberty Quarter   Proof 66 Cameo   6   3
Seated Liberty Half   Proof 67 Cameo   4   0
Trade Dollar   Proof 67 Cameo     1   1
Morgan Dollar   Proof 66 Cameo   7   1

According to 'A Guide book of United States Coins" by R.S. Yeoman, "A Proof is a specimen striking of coinage for presentation, souvenir, exhibition, or numismatic purposes. The term Proof refers to the method of manufacture and not the condition of a coin." Proof coins are made using specially selected dies that are chosen for their lack of imperfections. The dies and planchets (coinage blanks) are highly polished to create a mirror finish on the final product. The coins are manufactured one at a time under high pressure and are struck at least twice to insure sharpness of detail.The chart shows, for example, that for the Indian Cent there are a total of 3 coins with the Proof 65 Cameo grade and only 1 in existence that has been graded higher.

A cameo designation (CAM) is given to a coin that has contrast between the mirrored fields (the blank part of a coin) and the frosted devices (the design elements of a coin). Modern Proof coins have the design elements of the die treated with chemicals to create the cameo appearance, but a natural occurrence on older coins can be quite rare. Additional points are given in the Set Registry for a cameo designation.

1883 was a year rife with interesting history. In 2013 Old World Coin made new history by being awarded the PCGS Best of the Registry Set for their finest known, 10 coin, 1883 Proof Cameo Set.

10 Coins In Set

1883 1 Cent PCGS Proof 65 Red Cameo  
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1883 3 Cent PCGS Proof 67 Cameo

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1883 5 Cent PCGS Proof 66 Cameo w/Cents

1883-5c-pcgs-pr66cam-wcnts.jpg 1883-5c-pcgs-pr66cam-wcnts2.jpg


1883 5 Cent PCGS Proof 67 Cameo No Cents

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1883 5 Cent PCGS Proof 67 Cameo Shield

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1883 10 Cent PCGS Proof 67 Cameo

1883-10c-pcgs-pr67cam.jpg >1883-10c-pcgs-pr67camback2.jpg


1883 25 Cents PCGS Proof 66 Cameo

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1883 50 Cent PCGS Proof 67 Cameo

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1883 $1 PCGS Proof 66 Cameo

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1883 T$1 PCGS Proof 67 Cameo Trade 

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