Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 34

Lot 1216

1909 $5 Indian. NGC graded Matte Proof 66. Well struck and very choice. Pop 1; Only one grade by NGC. Unusual with a Matte finish, granular, very similar to the 1908 but slightly lighter in color. Traces of knife-rim at top obverse, bottom reverse; Breen 6806.

The only one ever reported at the time it was offered in DiBello, since then a second example has surfaced and sold in Bowers' September 1995 sale, PCGS Proof 64. Curiously, this DiBello sale record was mentioned in a well-known book on Half Eagles, but without mention of the coin's being matte rather than the regular "Roman" finish. We sold a similar matte Proof 1909 quarter eagle in 1975 ANA:1459; the corresponding eagle and double eagle have not turned up. In the DiBello sale, Stack's cataloger commented about this Half Eagle: "This is the first example of this date in the dull matte Proof finish we have encountered or could find record of." In both its auction appearances, the cataloger described this coin as unique. We find no reason to disagree.

Possibly two known:

(1) This piece, ex Gaston DiBello:1004, $775 (May 14-16, 1970); later Stack's session of Auction '81:1868, $17,000, ex Trompeter collection, NGC Proof 66

(2) Bowers 9/95: 1436, PCGS Proof 64.
Estimated Value $150,000 - 175,000.
DiBello, Trompeter Collections.

Realized $161,000

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