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Magnificent PR67 1911 Indian Half Eagle

1911 $5 PR67 NGC. A mere 139 proofs were struck in 1911, a considerable drop (on a percentage basis) from the 250 proof half eagles produced in 1910. Probably, the contemporary demand for both proof issues was similar, but the Mint had 1910 remainders, and accordingly reduced the 1911 mintage. If so, this would be similar to the behavior of Mint between 1861 and 1862, when mintages of proof silver coins fell from 1,000 pieces to 550 pieces, yet the 1862 proofs are actually more plentiful, since fewer were condemned to a Treasury smelter. Breen states on page 502 of his 1988 Encyclopedia, "many were melted in 1916 as unsold," referring to prior proof dates of Indian quarter eagles. The comment may hold true for several dates of the proof Indian half eagle, as well. The mintages of the matte finish proofs vary significantly from year to year, with a high of 250 pieces in 1910, and a low of 75 pieces in 1915. Yet the proof mintage for the 1914, at 125 pieces, is substantially higher than the 1909 mintage of 78 pieces. Silver proof mintages generally fell during these years. No conclusion can be made regarding the popularity of the matte proof finish based on these mintage figures.
The present specimen is a remarkable Superb Gem. Thorough evaluation with the aid of a strong lens fails to locate any abrasions, and the matte finish is seamless save for a small, slightly darker area atop the eagle's beak. As expected from a proof striking, all design elements are penetratingly delivered. Ideal for the finest quality proof gold type set.
Ex: Bowers and Merena, 5/04, lot 441.
From The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (PCGS# 8542)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
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