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Description

Superb Proof 1911 Indian Half Eagle

1911 $5 PR67 PCGS. The Indian design half eagles, along with quarter eagles, eagles, and double eagles of the same 1908 to 1915 period were all struck in a matte or sandblast finish. The Mint in Philadelphia was experimenting with different types of finish for proof coins of the various denominations, including cents and nickels. Silver proofs of this same period retained the brilliant, deeply mirrored appearance. In his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, Walter Breen discussed numerous types of finish for the various proof gold coins. Among these are the Light Matte, Dark Matte, and Roman Gold styles. The Roman Gold finish has a satiny and lustrous appearance. In 1911, Breen's description of the finish was: "Matte finish, dull and darker than unc., nearest to 1908 but differing minutely in texture of grain." Mintage for the 1911 half eagle in proof was limited to 139 coins. This is less than the number of 1911 quarter eagles, but more than the mintage of similarly dated eagles and double eagles.
This example is extremely sharply struck, as are nearly all matte proof gold issues. The surfaces have a grainy appearance with thousands (millions?) of tiny bright gold facets when examined under magnification. Virtually as struck, the surfaces are void of any blemishes or imperfections other than a couple minute spots. This half eagle has a perfect pedigree marker in the form of a tiny dark spot hidden within the space to the right of the horizontal fasces, located just below the eagle's tail. This spot is clearly visible in the plate of our 1994 ANA Sale and also in our November 2003 New York Signature Sale. We are expecting considerable activity today, with a stronger market than during either of the two previous auction appearances.
Ex: 1994 ANA Sale (Heritage 7/94), lot 7496, where it realized $33,000; Heritage (11/03), lot 7639 where it realized $52,900.(#8542) (Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28E5, PCGS# 8542)


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Auction Info

Auction Dates
August, 2004
18th-21st Wednesday-Saturday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 751

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