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    1910 Indian Quarter Eagle, PR67
    Bright 'Roman Gold' Finish
    Only One Numerically Finer at NGC

    1910 $2 1/2 PR67 NGC. The coarse-grained matte proof finish used on proofs in 1907 and 1908 proved extremely unpopular with collectors, so the Mint tried to improve the visual appeal of the coins by switching to the "Roman Gold" finish in 1909 and 1910. The "Roman Gold" finish was actually the same as the matte finish, except the coins were not sandblasted after striking. Unfortunately, even though the resulting proofs were brighter and more vibrant than the matte proofs, the public seemed to dislike them even more, perhaps because they were almost indistinguishable from high quality business-strike coins. The "Roman Gold" finish was abandoned after 1910.

    According to Mint records, a really huge mintage of 682 proof quarter eagles was struck in 1910, but the issue is much more elusive than that large production total would indicate. Several researchers have suggested the mintage figure represents some sort of bookkeeping error, but Roger W. Burdette believes the coins were actually struck and delivered to collectors. The unprecedented demand came about because business-strike coins were not struck until late in the year, and collectors seeking to update their collections assumed proof quarter eagles were their only option. This stronger collector demand fueled speculation among contemporary coin dealers by the end of the year, resulting in even more orders for the proofs. The paucity of examples in today's market is explained by the close resemblance of the proofs to business strikes. Once the speculation died down, the extra proofs in speculator's hands were probably just spent for face value, since they commanded such small premiums when they were offered publicly (a 1910 gold proof set in lot 2277 of Henry Chapman's George Earle Sale in June of 1912 sold for face value of $37.50). By this reasoning, a large number of lightly circulated proofs are masquerading as business strikes today. Of course, the coins recognized as proofs command spectacular prices, such as the $87,750 brought by the PR67+ NGC specimen in Bonham's Tacasyl Collection in 2013.

    The present coin is a "no doubt" proof example, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements and vibrant "Roman Gold" luster on both sides. The virtually pristine yellow and orange-gold surfaces show no mentionable flaws and overall visual appeal is all any collector could ask for. This magnificent Superb Gem should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Census: 14 in 67 (1 in 67+, 3 in 67 ), 1 finer (11/16).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 7KRP, PCGS# 7959)

    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
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
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