1871 Gold $1 Type 3 PCGS PR64 Cameo. This 1871 Gold Dollar, struck in Proof with fully reflective mirrors and sharply contrasted “Cameo” contrast, is an incredible reminder of many important moments of the era, as well as being a great rarity in itself. With only 30 minted and even fewer known to have survived, demand is always intense amongst proof gold collectors, and there are few better looking examples for the value than the present offering! In his Guide Book of Gold Dollars, Q. David Bowers suggests that perhaps nine to 11 proof 1871 gold dollars are still extant, commenting: “The 1871 is a landmark rarity — a focal point of Proof gold dollars of the era — sharing the limelight with the Proof 1874. … Based upon the rarity today, it is likely that no more than 20 were sold.” The figure of 20 pieces sold is even smaller than the official mintage of 30 specimens, and a further indication of this date’s inherent rarity.
Now for a little bit of contemporary history…1871 marked the dawning of a new era. Ulysses S. Grant, with the signing of the “Civil Rights Act,” empowered the President of the United States to suspend the writ of habeus corpus in order to combat the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations still thriving on the abundant racism still prevalent in the years after the Civil War. Reconstruction efforts in the South were well under way, and the entire country was in an age of invention and exponential growth leading up to its centennial celebration in 1876 and beyond.