US Coins

Market Analysis: Bronze, gold matte Proofs from 1912

A 1912 Lincoln cent in PCGS Proof 65 red with a green CAC sticker joined an NGC Proof 66+ Indian Head $2.50 gold quarter eagle in a March Stack’s Bowers auction, realizing $6,600 and $33,600, respectively.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers.

Two handsome matte Proof issues from 1912 showcased the beauty of this short-lived format. The U.S. Mint experimented with Matte Proof finishes for only a few years across all denominations, and the surface appearance is quite different from the reflective field with frosty devices collectors are used to on modern Proof coins.

A 1912 Lincoln cent graded Proof 65+ red by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker featured the finely textured satiny matte texture seen on Matte Proof coins, with subtle silver-olive undertones. Rarely found finer, it sold for $6,600.

Also exceptional was a 1912 Indian Head gold $2.50 quarter eagle graded Proof 66+ by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. that realized $33,600. The cataloger for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 26 Rarities Night auction noted, “Both sides exhibit...surfaces sparkling with myriad tiny facets as the coin rotates under a light,” with “light mustard-gold color” and “subtle pale pink highlights” also evident.

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