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Bold Gem Proof 1910 Half Eagle
'Roman Gold' Finish

1910 $5 PR65 NGC. The Mint issued four-piece gold proof sets in 1910 as well as the odd piece for collectors desiring same, but the purported figure for quarter eagles, 682 coins, defies all reason. The Breen Proof Encyclopedia estimates that 167 complete four-piece sets were made, with the complement of strays amounting to perhaps 250 pieces for the half eagle. The second edition of the Akers Handbook nonetheless notes that "survivors are still rarer than the original mintage might imply." The gold proofs of this year echo the "Roman gold" surface finish of 1909, a distinctive yellow-gold appearance that Breen calls "surfaces light in color, midway between satiny and mirrorlike, entirely without the granularity of matte or sandblast."
Even though there are a handful of Gem-or-finer examples certified in the marketplace, much of the proof gold of the Pratt and Saint-Gaudens designs is in strong hands. It has been four years since we offered a PR65 example of this issue, according to our Permanent Auction Archives -- a PR65 PCGS specimen that realized $48,875 in our Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2006), lot 3049. Our most recent offering of a proof 1910 half eagle, in our ANA Platinum Night session (Heritage, 8/2010), lot 3530, was the Simpson Collection PR67 NGC example, an impeccable piece that garnered $63,250.
This amazing Roman finish Gem proof exhibits bright orange peripheral toning that nicely frames the brilliant yellow centers and the design elements are fully struck, as expected. A tiny surface inclusion right of the Y in LIBERTY is the only pedigree marker on either side. Specialists in rare proof gold should recognize this coin as the important opportunity it represents. Census: 3 in 65, 18 finer (2/11).
From The B & D Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28E4, PCGS# 8541)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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