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    Description

    1900 Indian Cent, Struck on a Quarter Eagle Planchet, MS65
    Finest of Just Three Gold Cents Known of This Date
    Ex: 'Col.' Green, Beck

    1900 1C Cent -- Struck on a $2 1/2 Gold Planchet -- MS65 PCGS. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green / Beck Collection. Weight: 65.8 grains, slightly heavier than a standard quarter eagle flan. The gold Indian cents of 1900, 1906, and most recently discovered, 1905, are, in the words of Indian cent authority Richard Snow, "Perhaps the wildest mint errors known." Moreover, the 1900-dated pieces are perhaps the most widely known of these among error coin collectors. Snow writes in The Flying Eagle & Indian Cent Attribution Guide, third edition:

    "It is probable that all the 1900 pieces were struck at the same time as a piece de caprice for some special occasion. In the description for one auction appearance at the 1991 ANA sale by Bowers and Merena, the cataloger mentioned that George T. Morgan, Assistant Engraver of the Mint in 1900, had one in his collection. ... All examples of this date seen have light rust pitting on the reverse under the EN in CENT. A silver example of this date is known and is struck from these dies. ... Of course, we can only speculate regarding their manufacture, but the coins remain, and every time they surface, they create excitement."



    PCGS and NGC both readily recognize these fabulous rarities, and the Judd book lists them under its mint errors section. The following Census of gold Indian cents and additional information about them is compiled from a variety of sources, including www.uspatterns.com, www.minterrornews.com, Donald Taxay's 1976 Catalogue and Encyclopedia, Andrew Pollock's 1994 United States Patterns and Related Issues, the Judd reference, and selected auction catalogs. Conversations with Fred Weinberg and Richard Snow provided additional background.

    1900 MS65 PCGS. Col. E.H.R. Green; B.G. Johnson; John A. Beck Collection (Abner Kreisberg Corporation, 1/1975), lot 609; Mike Byers; Auction '89 (Superior, 7/1989), lot 856; ANA Centennial (Bowers and Merena, 8/1991), lot 4103; recently PCGS authenticated as a 1900 Indian cent struck on a gold $2.50 planchet, and graded MS65. The 1991 ANA catalog gives a weight of 65.8 grains, 1.3 grains too much for a quarter eagle planchet. The present coin.

    1900 AU55. Heritage (8/1993), lot 8000. The 1993 ANA catalog gives a weight of 4.35 grams (67.12 grains), 2.62 grains too much for a quarter eagle planchet.

    1900. Michael Hodder reported in a May 14, 1996 letter to Q. David Bowers that he had personally seen three different pieces, all with weights in the range of 65.8 to 67.1 grains. See Bowers' A Buyer's and Enthusiast's Guide to Flying Eagle and Indian Cents, p. 427.

    1905 MS64 PCGS. Apparently unknown to the numismatic community prior to its sale in the 2010 FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2010), lot 2433. Weight: 64.5 grains, the standard weight for a quarter eagle planchet.

    1906 AU58 NGC. Stack's (6/2004), lot 4097; Stack's (9/2009), lot 4299. Weight: 64.4 grains, within the 0.25 grain tolerance for a quarter eagle planchet.

    1907. Listed in the Judd pattern book, and in Donald Taxay's Catalogue and Encyclopedia [of] U.S. Coins. The 1907 gold Indian cent is currently unlocated.


    The present piece is not only the finest 1900-dated example, but is arguably the most important of all gold Indian cents known to collectors. The coin originated in the legendary collection of "Col." E.H.R. Green, and its most recent auction appearance was more than two decades ago in Bowers and Merena's 1991 ANA Centennial sale, where it was described as "An interesting, rare, and enigmatic off-metal strike, which should appeal to the advanced 'error' specialist or the aficionado of mysterious Mint products." Both sides are beautifully preserved, with softly glowing orange-gold luster and sharply struck devices. The coin is moderately well-centered, albeit slightly smaller in diameter than a regular cent and with correspondingly incomplete border denticles on each side. This coin has a long history of numismatic recognition as an important rarity, and it may be a long time before it is again offered at public auction.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,795

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