Exciting announcements from R&I!




“Cameo & Brilliant Proof Coinage” revised edition


The long-awaited revised edition of my 1991 book “Cameo and Brilliant Proof Coinage of the 1950 to 1970 Era” is coming through our doors any day now!

The original Cameo book was a groundbreaking addition to numismatic collectors- new and veteran collectors alike. Rick Montgomery, former President of PCGS and the current President of NGC, wrote a truly fantastic foreword for this revision:

There is no one more closely associated U.S. cameo proof coinage than Rick Tomaska. No one even close. When the first edition of Cameo and Brilliant Proof Coinage of the 1950 to 1970 Era was published in 1991, it was clear that Rick was ahead of his time. Although these coins were comparatively recent issues, Rick recognized that a world of difference could exist between any two examples. For example, on 1967 Special Mint Set Kennedy half dollar might be uncommonly rich, thickly frosty, almost jewellike, while another could be comparatively flat and pedestrian. No one else, it seemed, understood the significance of these differences.

Starting from a framework of knowledge he had garnered as a dealer specializing in Prooflike and Deep Prooflike Morgan dollars, he began to explore this more-modern coinage. He approached it technically, learning about the minting process, techniques, and die life. That explained, to Rick, why these coins existed in the first place and why they existed in varying degrees of quality. At the same time, as a market-maker of cameo proof coinage, he learned precisely what was uncommon, what was scarce, and what was truly rare. His keen eye allowed him to differentiate one coin from another that, although similar, had vastly different market values. All of this research led to the first edition of this book.

Now, thirty-plus years later, these differences are well understood by all collectors in this space. I believe that’s largely due to the use of the Cameo and Ultra Cameo designations by third-party grading services. It was the publication of the first edition, however, that explicitly described a formal standard for these designations. It was Rick who lobbied for the use of this standard by the grading services, supported in no small part by this book. Two coins that look different should not be graded the same, he reasoned soundly. His argument was persuasive, and NGC added the Ultra Cameo designation.

It is for these Ultra Cameo coins, with their deep frost and stark black-and-white contrast, that Rick Tomaska is best known. We’re aware of coins like the 1954 Franklin half dollar graded PF-69 Ultra Cameo that fetch eye-popping, six-figure sums, and we understand the robustness and depth of the marketplace that Rick has built. But his study is much deeper. He’s personally conducted comprehensive die studies of Proof Franklin half dollars, identifying top dies that NGC recognizes and attributes. He’s created artful NGC holder designs and provided assistance to the NGC Registry. His contributions have taken the form of a true collaboration.

For that reason, I was touched and honored to write the foreword to this book. It is unquestionably a unique and seminal tome in this space. Rick Tomaska offered this book to collectors and dealers to enrich their enjoyment and understanding of these coins. When describing it, Rick has said that his guiding principle is for it to be useful for generations of collectors. And Rick has done it! The information contained herein is indeed of enduring value.

There you have it, folks! From the desk of Rick Montgomery himself!

The regular edition will be available for $59, while the signed Limited Edition (only 1,000 copies!) will be available for $159. If you haven’t already, put your name on our pre-order list! You can either e-mail us at caitlin@ricoins.com, or give us a call at 1-800-753-2646.

Happy Collecting and even Happier Holidays from all of us here at R&I!