US Coins

Market Analysis: Two different Proof styles on Indian Head quarter eagles

In contrast with the brilliant Proofs seen with the Coronet series, the Proof issues of Bela Lyon Pratt’s Indian Head design starting in 1908 used variations on a Matte Proof finish. Legend Rare Coin Auctions offered two that show the diverse surfaces used on Proofs of the design type at its Feb. 25 Regency Auction 43 in Las Vegas.

A 1908 quarter eagle graded Proof 67 by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker sold for $55,812.50 and had the rich, olive-gold surfaces that one would expect from the Matte Proof gold coins issued that year.

The next lot presented a 1910 Indian Head quarter eagle graded Proof 66 by PCGS, also with a green CAC sticker, that realized $44,650 and had the “warm, glowing satiny finish,” that is sometimes called the Roman Finish Matte Proof.

The U.S. Mint experimented with finishes on its Proof gold coins in Pratt’s Indian Head and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ $10 and $20 coins, with some believing that the “Roman Finish” was an attempt to create a flashier look that would better appeal to contemporary coin buyers. Today all examples of the Proof Indian Head gold coin issues are rare and coveted by collectors.

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