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    NGC 1908 PR 66. The mintage for proof 1908 quarter eagles was a reported 236 pieces. It is possible that the mint actually struck this many pieces, perhaps anticipating increased collector demand as a result of the new matte finish, and it is also possible that all 236 pieces were distributed. However, if all coins struck were indeed distributed, attrition took a very high toll on this date.
    It is known that public reaction was not favorable to the new proofing finish, collectors much preferring the more traditional brilliant, mirrorlike finish. As a result, many proofs entered circulation and today are unrecognizable as such. Mintages dwindled over the next several years as the mint was unable to interest collectors in its more "artistic" finished proofs and by 1915 the experiment was over. Today matte proof coins are highly prized and much better understood by the collecting public, therefore auction prices are consistently higher for matte proof gold than its brilliant counterparts.
    This is a virtually perfect specimen that is free from all post-striking impairments. The Eliasberg coin was curiously struck on a buckled planchet, and while this coin is not, there is slight evidence of stress in the planchet. This is apparent from stars 4 to 6 and may well be from ejection stress seen on many business strikes of this design type. There is also a tiny planchet flake below TR(US)T on the reverse, but this can hardly be considered a flaw and is only noticeable with magnification. The color is the usual muted khaki/golden-brown, and the striking details at the top of eagle's wing are incomplete, just as on the business strikes of this date with just a hint of plumage here and there. Probably somewhere on the order of 75 to 100 pieces exist of this date today, but very few coins can rival or exceed this pristine specimen. (NGC ID# 289G, PCGS# 7957)

    Weight: 4.18 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    July, 1994
    27th-30th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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