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.
1929 Indian Head gold $5 half eagle, MS-64
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.