Goldberg Coins and Collectibles



Sale 74

June Long Beach Coin Auction


$2.50 Indian
 
 
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 1423
1908 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded Proof 66. Only 167 matte proofs were coined. First year of Pratt's Indian head design. Uniform dark matte finish, granular. Only 167 made; according to Charles E. Green (1936), fewer than 100 released, the rest melted January 2, 1909.

According to Charles E. Green (1936) only 167 Proofs were made of this first year of the Bela Lyon Pratt Indian head design. There is substantial proof that not all the 167 pieces were distributed. Some were, as later numismatists surmised, in fact melted on January 2, 1909 after 100 gold Proof sets were assembled. Today, despite a higher mintage, the 1908 appears to be only moderately more available than other dates of matte Proof fives. We estimate that perhaps 40-55 pieces may still exist all grades. This handsome Proof 66 offering has exceptionally smooth, even, deep matte surfaces. There are no shiny areas on the high point, an absence of contact marks, and any hairlines are microscopic. In effect, no detracting post-striking impairments on either side, only pristine surfaces and glorious detail in the sharp devices. The overall surface color on this piece is more of an even light bright golden hue. Exceptional quality and eye appeal.

When Bela Lyon Pratt's new Indian head motif was launched upon the American waters in 1908 using the distinctive recessed relief method, the public was shocked (to put it mildly). Never before in American numismatics had a coin designer broken with tradition in such an overt way as did Pratt. For what Pratt did was to recess the design below the surface of the coin! Forget the fact that his Half Eagles and Quarter Eagles were far more aesthetically challenging than the long-running and dated (but still attractive) Liberty heads they replaced. Unlike his predecessors, Pratt chose to honor a real American Indian for a change, not some cleverly fashioned Greek goddess wearing an incongruous feather bonnet/headdress. And because of this, his design has endured; it has helped to propel American coin design into the World Class league.

As expected, collectors, art "experts" and public figures of the day, almost to a man, found objections to Pratt's imaginative work. Luckily, in the 80+ years since people have changed their opinions and now critically acclaim this advance in coin workmanship. Matte Proof Half Eagles, like the superb piece offered here, have received much attention by collectors over the past fifty years. We expect this trend to continue. Pop 29; 11 finer, 10 in 67, 1 in 68.

Commentary: Matte Proof Gold was struck at the Philadelphia Mint on the mint's hydraulic medal press to insure even flow into the die recesses, and a bold relief. America's sandblast Proofs (often characterized as "Matte" finish in numismatic circles) resulted from some experimentation in 1907 at the mint after it was discovered the earlier mirror-finish with frosted relief quality was impossible to achieve on Saint-Gaudens' new designs for the $10 and $20 issues as well as the Pratt innovative recessed $2.50 and $5 gold coins. Owing to the peculiarity of the design of the new coins, the entire planchet is struck in such a way that the whole surface of the coin loses the brilliant, polished finish so much valued by collectors. The net result was that the coins left the dies with a bright or satiny appearance. The officials at the Mint decided that since they could not make brilliant Proofs, and wanted something distinctive for collectors, they would sandblast the finished coins in 1908 (and a few 1907 samples). One reason the sandblast surface was considered too radical is that it would prevent the Mint from putting any rejects into circulation. The few remaining sandblast or Matte Proofs of 1908 are the crème de la crème of numismatics today, with this resplendent Proof 66 Half Eagle a sterling (or some might argue a "golden") jewel for the sophisticated collector.
Estimated Value $30,000 - 33,000.
View details and enlarged photos
Realized
$39,100
Lot 1424
1908 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded Proof 66. Wonderful uniform honey-color throughout. Only 236 proofs struck. Mintages ballooned in 1910 to 682, nevertheless, not many have been found in gem condition. In fact, NGC has graded just 20 this high with 2 graded higher, while PCGS notes only 6 as PR-66, and none higher. Hence, this is certainly one of a select group which is among the finest known of the date. No signs of handling marks and the surfaces are quite well preserved. The only faint disturbance would be a couple of nearly invisible hairlines, mostly above the eagle in the fields. Don't expect to find a better one, as this is a really beautiful, and superb coin. Perfectly struck and a visual masterpiece of Bella Lyon Pratt's incuse design. Pop 41; 30 finer, 29 in 67, 1 in 67+ (PCGS # 7957) .

History Lesson for Today: The obverse portrays Brule Lakota Chief Hollow Horn Bear, who had taken part in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade, March 4, 1905. The Chief died March 15, 1913, age 54, at Providence Hospital, according to the notice in the April 1913 Numismatist, which misidentified him as the model for the 1899 $5 Silver Certificates. His true identity as Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt's model for the 1908 Quarter Eagles and half eagles first came to light in an exhibit in the 1988 ANA Convention; we have not yet learned who was the exhibitor. The raised flat fields of the new design meant that Proofs would have to be in one of the French matte finishes. Proofs (1908-15) were not as familiar to collectors as the brilliant Proofs of former designs, especially because they were darker and duller than business strikes; many were mistakenly spent, others melted in later years as unsold.
Estimated Value $23,000 - 24,000.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$29,900
Lot 1425
1908 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-65+ PQ CAC Approved. Lovely rich golden toning. As the first Indian Quarter Eagle in U.S. coinage history, the 1908 enjoys unflagging demand among both type collectors and 20th century gold experts. Although this issue is the more plentiful than most suppose, at least up to the MS63 level, Indian Two-and-a-Half in Mint State 65s are rare in an absolute sense with infrequent offerings in today's market. Strike definition is pleasingly sharp for the issue with some softness of detail over the eagle's wing feathers -- the result of the manner in which the reverse die was engraved. The color is a rich hue, and satiny luster is also seen throughout. With no distractions to speak of and abundant eye appeal, this coin would fit comfortably into any high-quality collection. Pop 18; 100 finer, 95 in 66, 3 in 66+, 2 in 67 (PCGS # 7939) .
Estimated Value $3,000 - 3,200.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$3,795
Lot 1426
1908 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. Soft golden hues. A lustrous coin. First year issue.
Estimated Value $700 - 750.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Realized
$949
Lot 1427
1909 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-65. A gorgeous gem specimen. Well struck and shimmering with rich golden mint luster. A significant mintage Indian Head quarter eagle was accomplished at the Philadelphia in 1909. Unfortunately, few examples were saved in top-notch condition by collectors at the time of issue, and the date is quite elusive today in MS65. The true rarity of this less than that of 1911-D, 1914 or 1914-D, of course, but the 1909 in this outstanding condition makes for a desirable acquisition. Pop 167; 24 finer (PCGS # 7940) .
Estimated Value $4,000 - 4,500.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$4,370
Lot 1428
  1909 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded AU-53 and PCGS AU-53 respectively. Lot of 2 coins (PCGS # 7940) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
View details

Check results on similar lots
Realized
$604
Lot 1429
1909 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. Delicately toned (PCGS # 7940) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,265
Lot 1430
1910 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded Proof 66. A magnificent golden-orange French satin finish matte proof gem. Only 682 proofs made of which the majority went unsold and were later melted. The 1910 date is the second in the Roman Gold or Satin Finish Proofing process for gold Proofs as introduced in 1909. Yet this year is exceeded in rarity only by the 1909 and 1915. Estimates are 100-125 may actually exist today. Full golden color is seen in every area with no indication of toning, and surely no sign of copper stains. Most Proof Indian quarter eagle dates exhibit the darker "matte" or sand-blast surfaces. Collector complaints about this matte finish in 1908, described in Roger Burdette's research on the gold designs of 1907 and 1908, resulted in the Roman finish, which is brighter and less granular in texture. The nature of the Saint-Gaudens and Bela Lyon Pratt designs prohibited the mint from offering them with the mirror finish on the previous Liberty gold Proofs. Pop 27; 17 finer (PCGS # 7959) .

Anecdote: In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt became the first (former) president to ride in an airplane. (Now they cannot seem to keep our jet-setting Chief Executives out of airplanes!).
Estimated Value $25,000 - 30,000.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$35,650
Lot 1431
1910 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-65 CAC Approved. Well struck and frosty. The surfaces are radiant and each side has a nice veneer of golden patina that whips and tosses as it alternates between lighter and darker shades. This is a strongly struck Indian $2.50, with excellent detail to all the important high points including feather detail. Where sometimes you'll see the add on "with the possible exception of these regions (standard for the issue)…", we are thrilled to say that no such add on is required with this 1910 Gem specimen. Pop 91; 3 in 65+, 8 in 66, 1 in 66+ (PCGS # 7941) .
Estimated Value $3,500 - 3,700.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$6,900
Lot 1432
1910 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. Well struck, light olive and golden toning (PCGS # 7941) .
Estimated Value $900 - 950.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,208
Lot 1433
1910 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. A frosty untoned example (PCGS # 7941) .
Estimated Value $850 - 900.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,179
Lot 1434
1911 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. Nicely toned (PCGS # 7942) .
Estimated Value $650 - 700.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$817
Lot 1435
1911 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. CAC Approved. Nice and frosty. We note that the surface is smooth and uncharacteristically free of most marks, although there is a small chattermark by the Y in LIBERTY on the obverse (PCGS # 7942) .
Estimated Value $650 - 700.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$863
Lot 1436
1911-D $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-64. Well struck with uniform golden toning. Popular Key Date to the series. Only 55,680 minted. As a sign of the importance of this auction we are offering not a run of the mill low-end BU example of the key-date 1911-D Indian Quarter Eagle, but this thoroughly captivating near-Gem MS64 example. The NGC-certified piece in this lot is fully impressed with sharp definition touching not only the central-reverse highpoints, but also the D mintmark on the same side, and the lowermost feathers in the obverse headdress which happen too often to be weak and obscured. Both sides are fully lustrous, in keeping with the standards of the issue, and the finish is gleaming with a typical light granular texture. The color is a full-on-gold shade that, at certain angles, reveals slight mingling of iridescence. There are no detracting abrasions or other blemishes, perhaps the most vital element when establishing the desirability of this coin for addition to an advanced collection of 20th century gold. Pop 487; 84 in 65, 2 in 66 (PCGS # 7943) .
Estimated Value $19,000 - 20,000.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Unsold
Lot 1437
1912 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-64. A lovely frosty coin. Uncommonly smooth with fully metallic, golden-rose features. Struck with systematic exactness throughout including the often-weak lower feathers on the headdress. A premier coin in this grade (PCGS # 7944) .
Estimated Value $1,400 - 1,500.
The Dr. Charles Ruby Estate.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$2,300
Lot 1438
1912 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. Lovely golden-orange overtones (PCGS # 7944) .
Estimated Value $900 - 1,000.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,265
Lot 1439
1912 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. Well struck and lightly toned (PCGS # 7944) .
Estimated Value $850 - 900.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,208
Lot 1440
1913 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63 CAC Approved (PCGS # 7945) .
Estimated Value $650 - 700.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$863
Lot 1441
1913 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. A nice untoned coin (PCGS # 7945) .
Estimated Value $600 - 650.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$805
Lot 1442
1914 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-64. Well struck and a solid case can be made to call this a gem. Vivid steel olive and golden-orange overtones adds to its appeal. With the exception of a few intermingled blushes of varied tinting in areas, as described, both sides present as orange-gold in color. Of the 15 issues comprising the Indian Head series, the 1914 is one of the most elusive, adding an extra element of desirability. Its mintage of 240,000 pieces marks it as the Philadelphia date with the lowest production, and only the famous 1911-D has a lower mintage across all issues. Pop 350; 71 finer (PCGS # 7946) .

Historic Gold Market Crisis of Summer of 1914: On July 31, 1914, as war declarations spread throughout Europe presaging the First World War, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, William McAdoo shut the New York Stock Exchange for an unprecedented four months to hamper British sales of American securities. The British could not drain American gold without the dollar proceeds from sales of U.S. stocks and bonds. (McAdoo desired to protect Americas gold coin & bullion supply at a time when the 12 Federal Reserve Banks had yet to be fully supplied with the metal upon before their anticipated opening later that year.)

On August 3 he flooded the country with paper money to prevent a repetition of the bank runs that had embarrassed America only a few years earlier, during the Panic of 1907. Banks had been forced to suspend the convertibility of their deposits into currency when they could not meet depositor demands for cash during October 1907. Banks avoided suspending their obligations in 1914 by offering depositors the emergency currency (National Bank Notes identical to those of the Series of 1902 Second Charter notes already in use) dispensed under McAdoo's orders.

A federal enactment passed in 1908 after the Panic of 1907 to guard against a replay of the panic, anticipated the importance of speed in containing a crisis. It had stipulated that $500 million in emergency currency that had been authorized be printed immediately after the passage of the act. Each national bank's allotment of notes, embossed with the bank's name and decorative logo, had been prepared for distribution by the end of 1908. The entire supply had been stored in an underground vault especially constructed for this purpose in Washington, D.C.
Estimated Value $9,000 - 10,000.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Unsold
Lot 1443
1914 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-62. Lovely rose color gold toning. A scarce P-mint date struck during the troubled year when World War I broke out in Europe, causing pressures on the American banks and particularly on the gold markets here and abroad (PCGS # 7946) .
Estimated Value $1,400 - 1,500.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,840
Lot 1444
1914-D $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-64. A stunning example exhibiting vivid two-tone golden colors. Worth a premium for the exquisite toning. With the exception the lovely tinting referred to, both sides present as a base, exquisite orange-gold in color. Although the 1914-D is widely regarded as one of the more disappointingly produced issues in this series, the present example is overall boldly, if not sharply defined. Fully frosted in sheen, and free of individually mentionable distractions. The 1914-D is the sixth rarest Indian Two-and-a-Half at the near-Gem level. An impressive representative housed in NGC. Pop 1,222; 68 finer (PCGS # 7947) .
Estimated Value $6,000 - 6,500.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Unsold
Lot 1445
1914-D $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. Frosty and lightly toned (PCGS # 7947) .
Estimated Value $850 - 900.
Ex Seminole Collection; The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,236
Lot 1446
1914-D $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-62. Lovely even golden toning, slightly scarcer Denver Mint issue whose price rises manifold with each point above this; quite affordable in MS62 (PCGS # 7947) .
Estimated Value $500 - 525.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$633
Lot 1447
1915 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-64. Frosty and untoned, a very choice example struck only two years before America's entry into WWI which caused the cessation of Quarter Eagles until 1925 (PCGS # 7948) .
Estimated Value $800 - 850.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,323
Lot 1448
1915 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. Mostly untoned and frosty throughout. A well struck example of the Indian Head type (PCGS # 7948) .
Estimated Value $600 - 650.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$834
Lot 1449
1915 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. CAC Approved. Nice and lustrous. It is easy to complete a 15-coin set of these interesting, attractive Quarter Eagles, with only the '11-D being a key date. Most others are easily acquired. Dates run from 1908 to 1929 with a wide gap between 1915 and 1925 when none were made (PCGS # 7948) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$891
Lot 1450
1925-D $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-64. Lovely lustrous mint colors. Most Indian $2.50 gold coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Only in 1911, 1914 and finally in 1925 did Denver strike any. The 1925-D is readily available in all grades (PCGS # 7949) .
Estimated Value $800 - 850.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$920
Lot 1451
1925-D $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-64. A nice frosty coin (PCGS # 7949) .
Estimated Value $800 - 850.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$891
Lot 1452
1926 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-64. CAC Approved. Housed in an Old Green Holder. Choice and frosty.

Some comparisons of everyday prices back then may be informative: at Hotel La Salle in 1926, "Chicago's Finest Hotel," a single room ranged from $2.50 to $7.00 per night. Breakfast at the hotel was 50c to 70c; lunch, 85c; dinner, $1.25, and Sunday dinner, $1.50. A hand-tailored, silk-lined tuxedo was $35. Toy electric train sets began at $5.75. A new gas range was $27.35. Smoked beef tongue was 29c a pound; flour $1.25 for a 24-1/2 pound bag (people baked their own bread back then); apples 49c for a box of a dozen. The fare to Bermuda from New York and back by ship was $70 (or twenty-eight of these $2.50 gold pieces). This price included the berth and meals. A new Hudson car cost $1,250 or a little more than 60 ounces of gold, which equates in todays mini-dollar of to a whole lot more. In fact, multiply all of the above figures by 60 or 70 times to factor in the gold price rise of the last 75 years and you get a feel for the actual buying power of gold money like this 1926 Indian quarter eagle (PCGS # 7950) .
Estimated Value $800 - 850.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,208
Lot 1453
1926 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. Well struck, honey color gold (PCGS # 7950) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$552
Lot 1454
1926 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-62. CAC Approved. A nice looking example and a Premium Quality example (PCGS # 7950) .
Estimated Value $475 - 500.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$575
Lot 1455
1927 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-63. CAC Approved. Nice and frosty (PCGS # 7951) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$776
Lot 1456
1927 $2.50 Indian. NGC graded MS-63. CAC Approved. Frosty and lightly toned (PCGS # 7951) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$615
Lot 1457
1927 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-62. A nice untoned coin, lustrous. Quarter Eagles, while they circulated to a minor extent in the 1920s, were mainly used as Christmas presents among family members but for the most part stayed in bank vaults. The public by then was used to gold-backed paper money which, much to their chagrin in 1933, the backing was defaulted upon by the Franklin Roosevelt administration (PCGS # 7951) .
Estimated Value $425 - 450.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$506
Lot 1458
1928 GSA. NGC graded MS-63. CAC Approved (PCGS # 7952) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$805
Lot 1459
1929 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded MS-62. A nice frosty coin (PCGS # 7953) .
Estimated Value $425 - 450.
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$460
Lot 1460
  Half Dozen $2.50 Indians. A 6-piece lot, all different dates grading EF 40 to 45. Lot of 6 coins.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 1,550.
The Arden Collection.

View details
Realized
$1,840
Lot 1461
  A Half Dozen $2.50 Indians. Mostly different dates. Coins grade VF to EF, one or two have been cleaned. Lot of 6 coins.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 1,600.
View details
Realized
$1,553
Lot 1462
  A 5-piece lot of $2.50 Indians. All used as jewelry.
Estimated Value $950 - 1,000.
View details
Realized
$891
Lot 1463
$2.50 Indians 1908-1929. Complete set EF-AU. The key date 1911-D is the weak "D'' variety. Housed in a black Lucite holder. Lot of 15 coins.
Estimated Value $5,000 - 6,000.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photo
Realized
$6,900
Lot 1464
  1911 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded AU-55 and PCGS AU-53 respectively. Lot of 2 coins (PCGS # 7942) .
Estimated Value $500 - 550.
View details

Check results on similar lots
Realized
$661
Lot 1465
  1915 $2.50 Indian. PCGS graded Each AU-58. Lot of 2 coins (PCGS # 7948) .
Estimated Value $500 - 525.
View details

Check results on similar lots
Realized
$633
Lot 1466
1925-D $2.50 Indian. NGC graded Each MS-63. Lot of 3 coins (PCGS # 7949) .
Estimated Value $1,500 - 1,600.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,610
Lot 1467
1925-D and 1929. PCGS graded both MS-62. Lot of 2 coins (PCGS # 7949) .
Estimated Value $700 - 750.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$949
Lot 1468
1926 and 1928. PCGS graded both MS-62. Lot of 2 coins (PCGS # 7950) .
Estimated Value $700 - 750.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$891
Lot 1469
1927 and 1929. PCGS graded MS-63 and MS-62 respectively. Lot of 2 coins (PCGS # 7951) .
Estimated Value $900 - 950.
The Arden Collection.

View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Realized
$1,035






Home | Current Sale | Calendar of Events | Bidding | Consign | About Us | Contact | Archives | Log In

US Coins & Currency | World & Ancient Coins | Manuscripts & Collectibles | Bonded CA Auctioneers No. 3S9543300
11400 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 800, Los Angeles CA 90064 | 310. 551.2646 ph | 310.551.2626 fx | 800.978.2646 toll free

© 2011 Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, All Rights Reserved
info@goldbergcoins.com