Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 34

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Lot 1219

1911 $5 Indian. NGC graded Proof 68. Perfection! The Indian design half eagles, along with quarter eagles, eagles, and double eagles of the same 1908 to 1915 period were all struck in sandblast finish, sometimes called "matte" by catalogers and the coin press. The Mint in Philadelphia was experimenting with different types of finish for Proof coins of the various denominations, including cents and nickels. In his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, Walter Breen discussed numerous types of finish for the various Proof gold coins. Among these are the Light Matte, Dark Matte, and Roman Gold styles. The Roman Gold finish has a satiny and lustrous appearance. Concerning the 1911 date in particular, Breen's description of the finish was: "Matte finish, dull and darker than uncirculated., nearest to 1908 but differing minutely in texture of grain." Mintage for the 1911 half eagle in Proof was limited to 139 coins. This is less than the number of 1911 quarter eagles, but more than the mintage of similarly dated eagles and double eagles.

This example is extraordinary in all aspects: sharply struck, as are nearly all matte Proof gold issues. The surfaces have a grainy appearance with thousands (millions?) of tiny bright gold facets when examined under magnification. Pristine and "as struck," the surfaces are devoid of any scuffs or shiny imperfections in the finish. (The lines from the plastic NGC holder show up in the photograph as squiggly wigglies that are not, repeat, are not, on the coin itself.) We are expecting considerable activity on it, with a stronger market than during either of the two previous years. Pop 4; none better. The marks on the obverse are on the holder not on the coin (PCGS # 8542) .
Estimated Value $65,000 - 75,000.

Realized $78,200

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