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Gem Proof 1915 Indian Five
Rarest Proof Date of the Series
Only 75 Examples Minted

1915 $5 PR65 PCGS. CAC. Demand for matte proof gold coins reached its nadir in 1915, the last year in which the Mint produced proof half eagles. The recorded mintage was a mere 75 pieces, the lowest of the series. Collector interest was so low that even this small production was over-abundant, and David Akers believes more than half the reported mintage went unsold, and was subsequently melted after the end of the year. Experts estimate no more than 25-35 examples are still extant. PCGS has certified only 17 coins in all grades, the finest in PR67 (11/11).
The 1915 proof Indian half eagles were produced using the same Roman finish used on the 1914 issue. This sandblast technique produced larger facets in the granular surfaces of the coins that do not reflect light as readily as the finer-grained surfaces of the 1912-1913 issues. While contemporary collectors preferred the old brilliant finish proofs, present-day numismatists prize the artistic European quality of all the matte proof finishes.
The present coin is a spectacular Gem, with the even honey-gold surfaces typical of this issue. The granular surfaces are well-preserved, and even close inspection with a glass reveals no significant distractions. As expected from a matte proof, the design elements display razor-sharp definition throughout. Even usual problem areas, like the headdress feathers and eagle's leg, show intricate detail. This combination of high technical quality, tremendous visual appeal, and absolute rarity is seldom encountered on a 20th century issue. Population: 8 in 65, 3 finer (11/11).
From The Jim O'Neal Gold Type Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 2VMS, PCGS# 8546)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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