At the turn of the month, a $1 1995-W American Eagle Silver Dollar coin was auctioned off for $86,654 by GreatCollections auction house, CoinWorld magazine reported.
The coin was part of a run that has been heavily noted for minor flaws in a majority of its pressings, with relatively little of that quality being today. This particular coin had been graded Proof 70 Deep Cameo by the Professional Coin Grading Service, a rare find for the 1995-W American Eagle silver dollar run.
Deep Cameo is a measurement on the offset of the raised and frosted area of a coin, which is often the profile of a head, and the flat mirrored surface behind it. In the case of the American Eagle Silver Dollar coin, the head side of the coin features Lady Liberty, while the tail side of the silver coin appropriately features an American Eagle. Generally, the greater the contrast between the raised detail and the background, the higher the Deep Cameo proof will be.
"The 1995-W is the ultimate key to the series with the lowest mintage and is notorious for imperfections, explaining the low percentage graded at the perfect Proof-70 DCAM grade," said Ian Russell, President and founder of the auction house that sold the record-setting $86,654 silver American Eagle coin.
When graded at Proof 69 Deep Cameo, another coin in the run typically trades between $3,500 and $4,000. With a total number of 30,125 coins minted in that run, this shows how even the slightest difference can make the value of a single precious metal coin skyrocket.
Although the precious metal coin-grading firm has rated only eight examples of the 1995-W silver coin in Proof 70 Deep Cameo, the firm has graded 543 1995-P silver coin issues as Proof 70 Deep Cameo.
“The 1995-W American Eagle Silver Dollar is a curious issue in that its survival rate in this perfect grade is extremely low,” wrote Paul Gilkes in Coin World. “Examples are marred by frequent spots and often show evidence of handling as a result of improper removal from their original U.S. Mint packaging as part of a five-coin 10th anniversary American Eagle set.”
“It is another example of how the ‘quest for the best’ can make these condition rarities increasingly expensive,” added Gilkes.