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    1913 Indian Half Eagle, PR67
    Only One Finer Coin at NGC
    Just 99 Examples Struck

    1913 $5 PR67 NGC. The 1913 gold proof sets debuted in the same year as the Buffalo nickel proofs, but the Mint mostly issued the gold, silver, and minor coinage proof sets separately, along with proof gold singletons as needed. And in any case, the few contemporary collectors of proof gold had apparently tired of the matte proof finish. Only 99 pieces were recorded issued, and it is a good bet that some were melted as unsold, a common Mint practice of the era. The authorities at PCGS estimate that 50 to 65 examples survive today, a good bet given the 22 certified in all grades at PCGS and the 26 at NGC, most of them -- 22 pieces -- falling into the PR66 grade level.

    Garrett and Guth note in the gold reference that the 1913 half eagle has the "same fine sandblast finish seen on the 1912 issue" but more interestingly comment that the "overall rarity of the issue places it as the third-rarest of the eight-coin series."

    This piece displays a medium mustard-yellow color that is a bit lighter than most matte proofs of the issue we have seen. It takes extensive perusal with a good loupe to find any flaw in the surfaces, no matter how minuscule, that might serve as pedigree identifiers. And minuscule they are, but at the right angle we find a trio of tiny luster grazes, one on the upper wing of the eagle and two more in the field nearby. They are inconsequential compared to the enormous aesthetic appeal and importance of this historic coin. Matte proof gold is the numismatic connoisseur's caviar, and this upper-end piece may soon disappear from the market for decades. This coin is the number one specimen in David Akers and Jeff Ambio's list of Significant Examples. Census: 8 in 67, 1 finer (3/15).
    Ex: Grand Traverse Heritage Collection (Bowers and Merena, 2/2007), lot 744; Summer FUN Signature (Heritage, 7/2011), lot 4836.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28E7, PCGS# 8544)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,057

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