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The Finest Certified Proof 1915 Quarter Eagle1915 $2 1/2 PR67 PCGS. Over the course of 32 years in the numismatic auction arena, the Heritage firms have offered 142 proof Indian quarter eagles of all dates from 1908 to 1915. Only eight of those were dated 1915, and this issue is tied with 1909 for the most infrequently offered proof quarter eagle of the Indian Head type. At about the time we started selling coins at auction in 1975, David Akers published his Auction Analysis of quarter eagles, and he noted the rarity of this issue at that time: "The proofs of this year are the rarest of this type with the possible exception of the 1909. Certainly the 1915 is the rarest matte proof quarter eagle, yet it usually realizes only a modest premium."
Just 100 of these coins were originally produced in 1915, with an unknown quantity melted a year later, the smallest distribution total of any proof Indian Head quarter eagle. At the time, collectors were not so fond of the matte proof appearance, thus few took the trouble to acquire pieces at the time of issue. The exact number of survivors is not specifically known, although various estimates range between 15 and 50 coins. It is probably realistic to place the number of survivors at about 25 or 30 coins.
This was the final year of issue for the proof gold coinage. Garrett and Guth comment: "Collector demand had fallen in most years, and proof gold coinage was halted in 1916 for regular-issue gold denominations." Of course, regular issue gold production stopped altogether at the Philadelphia Mint in 1916 and did not resume until 1920. The example offered here is the single finest piece ever certified by PCGS. It has the usual fine-grain matte surface with bright olive-gold color and sharp design elements. Each side has pristine surfaces and exceptional aesthetic appeal. This is undoubtedly the finest 1915 proof quarter eagle we have ever handled. Population: 1 in 67, 0 finer (10/06).
From The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 289P, PCGS# 7964)
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