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Description

Condition Census 1909 Half Eagle, PR68

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 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. Those issues are the only two in the proof Indian half eagle series to display that texture; 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 the two issues may mean that a not-insignificant number of the proofs were inadvertently lost to circulation. In the case of the 1909, we estimate just 30-40 survivors, examples of which have been graded from PR63 through PR68 at the two major grading services.
This piece is tied for the single finest proof 1909 five dollar at NGC and PCGS (2/09)--or that figure may represent one coin presented twice for grading and certification. It is easily one of the most appealing specimen strikings we have ever offered. 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. Census: 2 in 68, 0 finer (2/09).(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 25ZS, PCGS# 8540)

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Auction Dates
March, 2009
28th-31st
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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