Matte Proof 1908 Indian $2.50 Gold NGC PF67 - $43,000. Click on Coin Image to
Indian $2.50 NGC PF67. Gem Matte Proof. This matte proof
Indian head 1908 Quarter Eagle has original mustard
colored surfaces and nearly complete knife-rims on both
sides. The coin is virtually mark-free, as expected
for the grade. The strike is, of course, full with every
detail of the design readily apparent. The beautiful
coin is a close to perfection as you can get for a proof
coin of this date.
The matte texture
of the coin proved unpopular with the public, who were
used to the high contrast proof finishes of the previous
design. Today they are coveted by those familiar with
the series. It is fundamentally rare in all conditions.
In its population report, NGC shows there is 1 higher.
At PCGS there are 2 in PF66 with 0 higher, and these
numbers do not account for resubmissions or crossovers.
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to reserve this great coin.
The new Indian Head
quarter eagle was put into production in 1908. Theodore
Roosevelt, who had become president as a result of McKinley’s
assassination in 1901 and was in his second term of
office, believed that it was time to reform all United
States coinage, which in his opinion was “atrociously
hideous.” He wanted to put into place his “pet
crime” to improve coinage designs by bypassing
the mediocre Mint Engraver, Charles Barber. Earlier
Roosevelt prevailed on the world-renown sculptor, Augustus
Saint-Gaudens, to remake the gold eagle and double eagle
coins. Now, influenced by Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow,
a friend and art connoisseur, Roosevelt agreed to have
Bela Lyon Pratt redesign the gold half eagle and quarter
eagle. Roosevelt got the idea of making the coins incuse,
like certain ancient Egyptian coins. Certainly this
new design would make them different from the coinage
The incuse design was
an innovation never previously used on circulating United
States coinage. It was criticized by people in banking
and numismatics. They felt that the new coins could
be easily counterfeited, wouldn’t stack easily,
and were unsanitary because dirt would remain in the
incused features. However, as a whole, the public was
indifferent to the new coins, and they remained in production
and circulation until 1929, when the Great Depression
caused economic upheaval.
The series was minted
from 1908 to 1915 and then from 1925 to 1929. During
these years and until the Great Recall of 1933, the
coins circulated in commerce. They were often used as
birthday and Christmas gifts. Circulated coins are often
seen with rubbed spots on the high points. Since they
were also used extensively for jewelry, one should be
aware of traces of solder or evidence of its removal.
Imperfect reeding might indicate this problem, and doubtful
coins should be authenticated. Authentication is also
recommended for the key coin, the 1911-D, because a
number of counterfeits have been seen. Sometimes a 1911
Philadelphia minted coin will have a D mintmark added.
In uncirculated grades, the 1911-D is ten times more
costly than the plain issue. (All USRCI coins are guaranteed
genuine and authenticated by one of the major grading