US Coins

Market Analysis: Beautiful Indian Head cents at ANA Stack's Bowers auction

The recent American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money convention auctions featured two major collections of Indian Head cents, as Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered the ESM Collection during its Aug. 15 Rarities Night, and Heritage presented The Castle Collection on Aug. 14.

The ESM Collection was assembled by Pete Miller, who began collecting as a young man when his grandparents gave him Whitman albums to fill with then-circulating coins. He eventually moved his focus toward small cents.

Among the most beautiful pieces in his collection was an 1897 Indian Head cent graded Proof 67 red Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service and bearing a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that sold for $40,800. The next lot, an 1898 Indian Head cent in the same grade, also with a CAC “green bean,” sold for $36,000. 

PCGS reserves its red color designation for copper coins with over 95 percent of their original red color, while both the obverse and reverse must have frosted devices that contrast with reflective surfaces for a Cameo designation. Both of these cents, among the finest certified, are surely destined for top registry sets.

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