Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


    Exemplary PR67 ★ 1909 Half Eagle

    1909 $5 PR67 ★ NGC. Norwich, Connecticut, native Bela Lyon Pratt's father was a Yale graduate, and in 1883, at the age of only 16, the younger Pratt began study at the Yale University School of Fine Arts. Any Yalie will recognize one of Pratt's works, a life-size statue of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale that stands on Yale's Old Campus outside Connecticut Hall. At age 19, Pratt began study at the Art Students League of New York, where his teachers included Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Saint-Gaudens became Pratt's mentor, as well as a role model for the younger sculptor.
    After Saint-Gaudens' untimely death from cancer in August 1907, a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, art lover and Boston Brahmin William Sturgis Bigelow, enlisted Pratt to assist with designs for the quarter eagle and half eagle. Those designs featured, for the obverse, an Indian chief wearing a ceremonial headdress, and for the reverse an eagle in repose, perched upon a fasces and an olive branch, the intertwined symbols of preparedness and peace. The design is in an incuse or intaglio style (below the surface of the coin) never before contemplated for American coinage.
    Although a single matte proof piece is known for this year, most of the 1909-dated proofs were struck in the lighter Roman gold or satin finish, a bold contrast from the dark matte finish of 1908. A total of 77 pieces were recorded with the Roman gold surface treatment, making this the lowest-mintage proof issue of the Indian Head series, with the sole exception of the 1915 issue of 75 pieces, the last year for proof gold coinage until the modern era. This phenomenal piece has been awarded the vaunted NGC Star designation for exceptional eye appeal, an appellation that in this case is more than warranted. Both sides of this exemplary proof gold piece are nearly flawless. The surfaces are uniform, bright yellow-gold. There is a very fine grain texture when the coin is examined closely and the fields are remarkably bright--it is a wonder this finish was not more popular than it was at the time of issue. This is one of three similarly graded pieces at NGC, with two PR68 pieces finer (11/06).
    Pictured on page 56 of Proof Gold Coinage of the United States by Robert J. Loewinger, M.D., as an example of Pratt's Indian Head type half eagle.
    From The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 25ZS, PCGS# 8540)

    View all of [The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection ]

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Coin/Currency (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,339

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    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 39 days left to consign to the 2017 July 31 - August 8 ANA World Coins Signature Auction - Denver!

    Learn about consigning with us

    We really appreciate all of the high res images available online, plus the great support if we do have questions.
    Sarah Mock,
    Leesburg, VA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 April 4 - 6 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 April 4 - 6 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $9,829,887
    2017 April 7 - 10 CCE World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    2017 April 7 - 10 CCE World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED SO FAR $6,345,877
    2017 January 5 - 9 FUN World Currency Signature Auction -
    2017 January 5 - 9 FUN World Currency Signature Auction -
    REALIZED $1,283,993