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    1913 Indian Half Eagle, PR66
    Only 99 Examples Struck
    Rarely Encountered Any Finer

    1913 $5 PR66 NGC. CAC. JD-1, Low R.5. Collector demand for gold proofs declined drastically by 1913, as most numismatists preferred the brilliant proof finish of earlier years to the various matte finishes used on proofs after 1907. Accordingly, the mintage of proof Indian half eagle declined from 144 pieces in 1912 to only 99 examples in 1913, the third-lowest production of the series. The coins were delivered in a single batch on January 13 and that small mintage was enough to fill all the orders for the rest of the year. Estimates of the rarity of this issue have varied widely over the years. David Akers (2008) believed the 1913 was tied with the 1914 issue as the second rarest proof Indian half eagle and estimated the surviving population at 25-35 examples in all grades. Mike Fuljenz (2010) believed a slightly higher number had survived, perhaps 30-40 specimens, all told. More recently, John Dannreuther (2018) surmised 60-75 coins were extant and PCGS CoinFacts currently estimates 50-65 survivors are still with us. In any case, the 1913 proof Indian half eagle is definitely rare at the PR66 grade level, and finer coins are extremely elusive.

    Most of the proof half eagles distributed in 1913 were sold as part of complete gold proof sets. The sets began appearing at auction by the following year, as evidenced by the set in lot 23 of the Charles H. Conover Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1914):

    "1913 $20, $10, $5, $2.50. Dull sand blasted finish. Complete set. Four pieces. Very rare."

    The lot realized only $40 (face value of the coins was $37.50), an average price for the time, when gold proofs brought small premiums and the coins were only one year old. More recent sales of a 1913 proof half eagle include the PR66+ PCGS example in lot 4148 of the ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2017), which realized $64,625.

    The present coin is a delightful Premium Gem proof, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements. The impeccably preserved mustard-orange surfaces are lighter than the 1912 issue, and they sparkle more than most matte proofs, probably because a finer grain of sand was used in the sand blasting. Overall eye appeal is terrific. Census: 11 in 66 (2 in 66+), 10 finer. CAC: 6 in 66, 0 finer (6/20).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28E7, PCGS# 8544)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 320

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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