US Coins

Market Analysis: Matte Proof quarter eagles

Representing the first year of the Indian Head $2.50 quarter eagle series, this Proof 67 1908 example realized $38,400 on June 13.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Any Proof Indian Head quarter eagle is a prize and a visual treat. Proof strikes were issued from 1908, when the design was introduced, through 1915, and some nice ones have passed through auction recently.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries saw a Proof 1908 Indian Head gold $2.50 coin graded Proof 67 by Numismatic Guaranty Co. sell for $38,400 at its June 13 Rarities Night session. In contrast to the brilliant deeply mirrored finish seen on the Proof precursors of the Coronet type, the Indian Head Proof finish left a sandblast, matte surface, where imperfections often manifest as “shiny spots.” The coarse, textured finish marked a radical departure for collectors, and some ended up in circulation, but this one stayed pristine and Stack’s Bowers praised its rich honey-rose color.

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