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Description

Roman Gold 1909 Proof Indian Half Eagle--A Legendary Rarity Graded PR68 at NGC

1909 $5 PR68 NGC. Mint officials most likely anticipated strong collector demand for the new Indian Half Eagle when they delivered 167 proofs in 1908. Sales, however, were disappointing, a fact that one can easily see in the limited original mintage of the 1909. This second-year issue was produced to the extent of just 78 coins, and the finish was markedly different from that employed for the 1908. The 1909, as well as the 1910, was struck with a Roman Gold finish, which is actually a hybrid between brilliant and satiny. These issues are the only two in the proof Indian Half Eagle series to display this texture, and survivors of both deliveries are equally rare despite a considerably higher reported mintage for the 1910. The inability of some to distinguish between business and specimen strikes of these two issues may mean that a not insignificant number of the latter were inadvertently lost to circulation. In the case of the 1909, we offer an estimate of just 30-40 survivors, examples of which have been graded from PR63 through PR68 at the two major grading services.
This is the single finest proof 1909 Five Dollar at NGC and PCGS (1/03), and it is easily one of the most appealing specimen strikings of any to sell through one of our Signature Sales. The surfaces are pleasingly bright for the finish with considerable satin texture evident. The strike is full in all areas, and outwardly distracting and/or grade-limiting blemishes are nonexistent. It is solely for pedigree concerns that we mention a tiny swirl of overlying color in the obverse field at the upper left corner of the first digit in the date. Medium intensity orange-gold shadings blanket both sides and dominate the outward appearance. (NGC ID# 25ZS, PCGS# 8540)

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Auction Dates
March, 2003
20th-23rd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 543

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