US Coins

Market Analysis: Sandblast Proof quarter eagles

These 1911 and 1914 Indian Head gold quarter eagles with green CAC stickers and graded, respectively, Proof 67+ and Proof 67 realized $69,000 and $66,000, respectively, at Heritage’s May 3 Platinum Night session.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Heritage Auction’s May 3 Platinum Night session offered multiple examples of high-quality Proof Indian Head quarter eagles. A 1911 $2.50 coin graded Proof 67+ by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker sold for $69,000, and one dated 1914, graded Proof 67 by PCGS, also with a “green bean,” sold for $66,000.

Both dates have Matte or Sandblast Proof Finishes similar to the 1908 issues, as the Roman or Satin Finish used in 1909 and 1910 proved even less popular with contemporary collectors. Heritage writes that “a finer grain of sand was used for the sandblasting in 1911, giving the coins a lighter, more sparkling appearance than the 1908 proofs.” John Dannreuther explains, “The darker finish seen on 1914 quarter eagles is the result of coarser sand used in the sandblasting procedure” when the dies were treated. He adds, “Tradition has it that fewer survivors exist for the 1914 and 1915 as fewer collectors purchased them because of their displeasure with the finish.”

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