The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve
Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Dec. 29 issue.
Proof gold coins from the mid-to-late 19th century through the early
20th century have long been coveted by collectors and have always been
expensive. Someone looking at an entry-level example should be
prepared to pay thousands of dollars for a decent example.
As a general rule, larger denominations are more expensive and eye
appeal is especially important for these Proof coins that have
surfaces that are highly unforgiving toward imperfections. In recent
years, collectors have warmed to the more exotic Matte Finish Proofs
of the early 20th century.
Here is one of three classic Proof gold coins that Coin
World is analyzing this week:
The coin: 1913 Indian Head gold $2.50 quarter eagle, Proof 58
The price: $4,993.75
The story: Matte Proof gold coins were produced for collectors
at the Philadelphia Mint from 1908 through 1915. While all of the
Coronet Proof coinage displays reflective fields with often frosty
devices, Matte Proof Indian Head $2.50, $5 and $10 coins along with
Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagles have a fine sandblast texture that
reflects light with millions of microscopic facets.
The visual experience of a Matte Proof is highly different than that
of a Brilliant Proof, and it’s often considered an acquired taste.
Given the lack of flash, it’s not surprising that a few Matte Proof
gold coins made it into circulation. This 1913 Indian Head $2.50
quarter eagle is graded Proof 58 by Professional Coin Grading Service and has the
fine sandblast texture and razor-sharp strike that one expects with a
Proof coin. It has just a touch of wear at the high points.
Given the lack of Matte Proof Indian Head $2.50 and $5 coins in
lower grades like Proof 60 through Proof 63, this example presented an
opportunity for a budget-minded collector when it brought $4,993.75 at
a Jan. 11, 2013, Heritage auction.
Read the rest of Steve Roach's "Under $10,000
Challenge" Market Analysis:
1898 Coronet quarter eagle comes in at $8,812.50
Coronet eagle available at $5,287.50 due to impairment
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