Indian Head gold $10 eagle realizes five figures: Market Analysis

The second of three columns from our Steve Roach regarding some recent California auctions
By , Coin World
Published : 09/30/15
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California’s Long Beach Expo and Whitman’s Baltimore Expo are both thrice-yearly shows held on opposite coasts that attract many of the same dealers. This year’s final Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Expo (using its full name) took place Sept. 17 to 19 and featured official auctions by Heritage and pre-show auctions by Bonhams and Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers. Here are three impressive gold coins, each a highlight for the firm offering it. The Long Beach Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center Feb. 4 to 6, 2016. 

The Coin 
1915 Indian Head Gold $10 Eagle, Proof 66

The Price 
$88,125

The Story 
Matte Proof gold coins are rare in that they were produced at the Philadelphia Mint for only a few years and the unusual finish was less popular than the mirrored Proofs that collectors were used to in the United States. In 1915, just 75 Proof Indian Head $10 eagles were struck. An example highlighting the recent pre-Long Beach auction by Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, graded Proof 66 by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $88,125. 

1915 was the final year that Proof Indian Head gold coins were sold to the public, and in 1914 and 1915, the Philadelphia Mint experimented with a more sandblasted matte finish than it used in the previous few years. 

The uniform surfaces of these Matte Proof coins are unforgiving to any type of contact marks — sometimes called “beauty marks” by aficionados — and PCGS has recorded just three submissions of this issue in this grade, with none finer. While Matte Proof gold coins aren’t for everyone, both in terms of price and aesthetics, many collectors appreciate the rarity and intriguing visual quality that examples possess.

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