US Coins

Market Analysis: 1909 Roman or Satin Finish Proof

The Roman or Satin Finish used on 1909 Indian Head quarter eagles is appealing. This orange-gold example graded Proof 66+ by NGC realized $43,200 on May 3.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The Philadelphia Mint experimented with its Proof finishes on gold coins in 1909, employing a more satiny Proof finish than the Matte Sandblast used the prior year.

While 1908 saw solid demand as the first year of the new design type, production was more modest in 1909 with just 139 Proof Indian Head quarter eagles struck, each from the same pair of dies, and just 78 were ultimately sold and distributed. John Dannreuther’s recent book on Proof gold coins estimates that 50 to 60 survive.

The treatment of 1909 and 1910 Satin Proof coins is sometimes called the Roman Finish. Dannreuther comments, “When found original, they have a shimmer that accentuates the incuse design. Light bounces off every Matte Proof gold issue in a different way; this gives every date a different look.”

Heritage sold one graded Proof 66+ by Numismatic Guaranty Co. on May 3 for $43,200 at its post-Central States Numismatic Society auctions, noting its pleasing orange-gold color.

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