This ‘unicorn of sorts’ Indian Head $5 half eagle sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars

Market Analysis: Stack’s Bowers presents Blue Moon Collection and Rarities Night sale
By , Coin World
Published : 04/25/17
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Off the market for nearly 40 years, a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar graded About Uncirculated 58+ by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker was a top lot at Stack’s Bowers Galleries Baltimore Expo auctions, realizing $910,625. It came from the Blue Moon Collection, which was especially strong in 19th and early 20th century Proof type coins and silver dollars, including an impressive group of Gobrecht dollars. While the Baltimore headlines were dominated by the final installment of the D. Brent Pogue Collection auctions, here are three more lots that represent the diversity and quality seen in the March 29 to 31 floor session auctions at the Baltimore Expo. 

Below is the first of three lots we're profiling from the Blue Moon collection:

The Lot:

1914 Indian Head gold $5 half eagle, PCGS Proof 68, green CAC sticker

The Price:

$246,750

The Story:

All Matte Proof gold coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint between 1908 and 1915 are scarce, but in exceptional preservation they are extremely rare. A virtually flawless PCGS Proof 68 1914 Indian Head gold $5 half eagle brought $246,750 at the March Baltimore auctions.

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In contrast to the Brilliant Proof coins with highly reflective fields that the Philadelphia Mint used in prior decades, Matte Proof coins are more subtle and many eventually entered circulation, resulting in relatively low survival rates. The auctioneer suspects that roughly a third of the mintage of 125 remain known today, and on this example Stack’s Bowers wrote, “The present example is a glorious anomaly, a unicorn of sorts.”


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Regarding this finest example of the date known and one of the finest of the type, the description adds, “Predictably, the surfaces of this piece are flawless. Labored examination with a glass reveals nothing beyond a landscape of glimmering facets and delicately sculpted motifs.”

Check back later in the week for the rest of the Blue Moon lots!

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