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1909 'Roman Gold' Five Dollar Indian
Bright Green-Gold PR66+

1909 $5 PR66+ PCGS. CAC. After the first year of the matte finish proved so unpopular with collectors, the Mint switched to what we know today as the "Roman Finish" style of proofing for gold coins. This method did not involve treating the planchets, as with the previous matte finish. Rather, proofs were struck on unprepared planchets. The striking pressure imparted a natural brightness to the limited production runs of proof gold. In the case of the 1909 only 78 proofs were struck, and of that number it is estimated that perhaps 30 or so pieces are extant today in all grades.
The surfaces are bright and show a surprising green-gold tint, rather than expected yellow-gold. Just around the margins on each side there is a light, but still noticeable accent of reddish patina. The surfaces are unmarked as far as we can see, with one exception: A shallow, irregularly shaped planchet flake is seen in the reverse field just above the eagle's tail feathers. This identifier greatly simplifies tracing the pedigree of this important coin. Finer pieces are known, but not many. Each of the major services show only seven pieces in PR66 with a combined 10 pieces finer, one at PCGS and nine at NGC (6/12). Collectors have slowly begun to realize the absolute rarity of this two-year proofing process.
Ex: John H. Clapp Collection, directly from the Mint, December 1909; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; The United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 621; Rajj Collection (Stack's, 8/2011), lot 7697.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 25ZS, PCGS# 8540)

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Auction Dates
July, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 14
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