Rare 1909 Matte Proof Quarter Eagle

    1909 PR 64 PCGS. The proofs of 1909 were struck in the Satin style, or in what has become known as the Roman Gold finish. More archaically it was known as the Brilliant Matte style, a not inappropriate term for this finish, and one that more accurately conveys the appearance of the coins than the vague "Roman Finish" term. These Satin proofs are devoid of the coarse granularity on 1908 and 1911-15 proofs, and have a lighter finish halfway between matte and mirrored, but to call them mirrored would certainly be inaccurate.
    Of the 139 proofs struck, it seems unlikely that more than 50-75 pieces could exist today, 39 examples have been graded by both services combined. In choice condition, this is one of the rarest of all matte proof gold issues being accompanied by just 3 other PR 64s, and exceeded by a single PR 65 (10/95). Akers was only able to trace 18 auction appearance of this date over a thirty-year period. As a date, the 1909 is twice as rare as the 1908, in part because the novelty of the first year of issue status of the 1908 date assured more would be preserved, and also in part because of the brighter finish in 1909 some unknowing or uncaring collectors may have spent them or may not have recognized the difference between a Roman Gold proof and a clean, well struck business strike. To demonstrate how scarce proofs of this date are, we repeat a story first related in the Garrett Sale (Part II) that Robert Garrett had a habit of ordering a gold proof set each year directly from the mint. For some unknown reason he failed to do so in 1909, and it took Henry Chapman four years to procure one through advertisements and other solicitations.
    The surfaces of this piece are noticeably brighter than those of other, non-Roman Finish years, and some of the natural brightness is accented with rich orange-gold color seen on the coin overall. We can find only a couple of microscopic contact marks on the reverse that must account for the conservative grade. A desirable example of this rarely seen date. (NGC ID# 289H, PCGS# 7958)

    Weight: 4.18 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 1996
    6th-9th Saturday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 245
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