Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 1712

1910. NGC graded Proof 67. Only 682 struck. Lovely golden toning. Well struck and choice. Mintage ballooned in 1910 to 682, nevertheless, not many have been found in gem condition. In fact, NGC has graded just 11 this high per the appended census (see below), while many are sequestered away in museum collections or off the market for years to come. Hence, this is certainly one of a select group which is among the finest available of the date. No signs of handling marks and the surfaces are quite warmly toned and well preserved. The only faint disturbance would be a couple of nearly invisible hairlines in the fields. Don't expect to find a better one without diligent searching, as this is a really beautiful, and outstanding coin. Perfectly struck and a visual masterpiece of Bella Lyon Pratt's incuse design. Pop 11; 4 finer, 3 in 67 Star, 1 in 68 (PCGS # 7959) .

Historical account: 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 popular as the old-fashioned brilliant Proofs of former designs, especially because they were darker and duller than business strikes; many were mistakenly spent, others melted in 1916 as unsold.

Concerning the Matte Proofs: Prior to the 1940s, many collectors turned up their noses at Matte and Satin-finish Proofs. They were caught in a nineteenth century time warp and did not welcome the modernistic, French-inspired coin-matting influence which swept Europe and America during the opening decades of the twentieth century. But time and familiarity soon bore fruit. Today, Matte Proofs are revered more than their brilliant cousins by collectors, who pay highly to acquire them. If you would object with this assertion, then explain the wide price premium that Matte Proofs have over earlier Brilliant Proofs.
Estimated Value $40,000 - 45,000.

Realized $46,000

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