Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 51

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Lot 1507

1911 $5 Indian. NGC graded Proof 66. A splendid gem matte Proof, light golden-tan in color. In the new 4 prong NGC holder. Only 139 Proofs minted. This example is extremely sharp, as are nearly all matte Proof gold half eagles. The surfaces have the typical grainy appearance with myriad tiny bright golden sparkles when held under a light. This coin is pretty much "as struck," the surfaces free of any blemishes or spotting. This Indian half eagle has an interesting history as the portrait is of a real person, not one imagined by the artist. Along with quarter eagles the Proofs of 1908 to 1915 all struck in a matte or sandblast finish using the until-then novel "recessed relief" format, the first occurrence of this feature on an American coin.

Throughout this period, Philadelphia Mint was preparing different types of finish for the Proof coins each year: light sand-blast, dark sand-blast, and Roman finish (no sand-blast). The truth is, all Proof half eagles of this type, when first struck, were of the Roman gold finish which has a satiny and lustrous appearance. Then, excepting in 1909 and 1910, the struck coins were subjected to varying amounts of sand-blasting to pepper the surface with this diamond-faceted appearance. Breen's description of the finish for the 1911 issue 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 the few coins which collectors would buy. Today, Gem Proofs of the 66 caliber are few and far between. A connoisseur's piece! Pop 15; 14 finer, 10 in 67, 4 in 68 (PCGS # 8542) .
Estimated Value $35,000 - 40,000.

Realized $32,775

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