1929 Indian Head gold realizes a significant ticket: Market Analysis

Despite gold hitting six-year low, rare quarter eagles and half eagles in top grades do well
By , Coin World
Published : 12/01/15
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The spot price of gold has dropped recently, hitting prices not seen for the past six years due to various concerns about the global market coupled with expectations that the Federal Reserve will be slower than expected in raising interest rates. Despite this, high-end gold coins continue to excel at auction. Here are three rare examples that performed well at a Nov. 15 auction by online auctioneer GreatCollections.

The Coin:
1929 Indian Head gold $5 half eagle, MS-64

The Price:
$47,305.50

The Story:
The 1929 Indian Head gold $5 half eagle represents the last year of issue of the type, and despite a high mintage of 662,000 piece, nearly all were melted. PCGS CoinFacts suggests a survival rate of 783 examples in all grades including 600 grading MS-60 or better.

Grading service population reports show a surprisingly high number in MS-63 and MS-64, but those numbers are likely inflated due to resubmissions where people seeking a higher grade for a coin don’t turn in the old grading service label, so the resubmitted coin can’t be removed from the population report.

At GreatCollections’ Nov. 15 auction, a lustrous example of this issue graded PCGS MS-64 brought $47,305.50. It was perhaps a bargain for the bidder, as there have been four instances of PCGS MS-64 1929 half eagles at auction so far in 2015, bringing prices between $49,938 and $54,050. MS-65 examples are rare, with none trading at auction since 2011, when a PCGS MS-65 example brought $86,250 at Heritage’s 2011 Florida United Numismatists auction.

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