Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1909 Indian Quarter Eagle, PR68
    Elusive Gold Proof
    Finest-Certified Example

    1909 $2 1/2 PR68 NGC. JD-1, High R.4. Ex: Simpson. The matte, or sandblast, finish introduced on gold proof coins in 1908 was not popular with collectors, so the Mint switched to a new satin, or Roman gold, finish in 1909. Research by Roger W. Burdette indicates the satin finish proofs were struck in the same fashion as the earlier matte proofs, but without the sandblasting. The resulting proof coins looked much like the regular-issue coins of that year, apart from their pristine surfaces and the razor-sharp definition on their design elements. The satin proofs had lighter surfaces than the sandblast proofs, with semi-reflective luster characteristics. The cataloger of the Trompeter Collection (Superior, 2/1992) suggested the term Roman gold was adopted because of "an accidental resemblance between this surface and that on some Roman aurei." The earliest use of the term we have discovered was in lot 713 of the 47th Sale (Ben Green, 4/1909), where the cataloger described the finish of a gold proof set as "Old Roman yellow gold." Curiously, the proof set in that lot description was a matte finish set from 1908. The term Roman gold must have been transferred to satin finish proofs at a later date.

    Production of proof Indian quarter eagles was drastically reduced in 1909, to a meager 139 pieces. The coins were delivered in quarterly batches of 48, 18, 12, and 61 pieces. Unfortunately, the satin finish proofs were just as unpopular as the sandblast issues of the year before. Records indicate only 78 examples were actually distributed in 1909. The remaining coins were either melted after the end of the year, or simply released into circulation, where their resemblance to circulation strikes would cause little comment. John Dannreuther estimates only 50-60 examples survive today in all grades. The 1909 is the rarest Indian quarter eagle in high grade today, by a wide margin.

    This magnificent PR68 example exhibits sharply detailed design elements, with intricate definition on the headdress feathers and the eagle's shoulder. A faint die crack is evident through the letters LIB in LIBERTY. The bright, semi-reflective, orange-gold surfaces are virtually flawless and eye appeal is terrific. This coin should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Census: 1 in 68, 0 finer (2/21).(Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 289H, PCGS# 7958)

    Weight: 4.18 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View all of [Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part V ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    22nd-25th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 764

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold on Apr 23, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 6 days left to consign to the 2021 December 16 - 19 US Coins Signature® Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your support and counsel during the process and I continue to be impressed by the skill and expertise of the Heritage Auction staff, as well as the clever web site.
    Bruce S.,
    Maplewood, NJ
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search