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January 31, 2014

COIN OF THE WEEK

1914 Gem Proof 67 Gold Indian Quarter Eagle $2.50
Click on Coin Image to enlarge


1914 QUARTER EAGLE $2.50 INDIAN NGC PROOF 67 - $45,000.00

Presenting the 1914 Quarter Eagle Indian - 1914 $2.50 Indian NGC PF67. Only 70 to 90 proof 1914 quarter eagle are known in all grades. In its population report, NGC shows only 13 total 1914 Proof 67 Indian Quarter Eagles. This does not include the resubmissions from the gambler who cracks the coin out and resubmits it in the hopes of obtaining a higher grade and making a big score on the value and believe me this coin has the kind of eye appeal not to mention the low population to make it a viable gamble. At PGCS there is none certified finer than PF66+. Here is an opportunity to obtain one of the best proof gold Indians, a 1914 Superb Gem Proof 67 Indian Head quarter eagle.

This Superb Gem Proof 1914 Indian Head quarter eagle is tied for the second finest known at NGC and is the finest known at PCGS. The coin is characterized by pristine surfaces that show no contact marks or hairlines, as expected for a piece of this lofty grade. The coarse sandblast finish is somewhat darker than the surfaces seen on pieces from the previous year. Original mint luster is present throughout the devices, but it is muted because of the matte finish. Needless to say, the surfaces are completely original with uniform yellow-orange gold coloring on both sides of the piece. The strike is excellent with full details on the high parts of the Indian’s bonnet, its feathers, and the eagle’s feathers on the highest area of the wing. Doubling is found on the Indian’s profile and the front of the eagle.

The 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 that preceded.

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 the coins remained in production and circulation until 1929, when the Great Depression caused economic upheaval.

Pratt was an accomplished sculptor and medal maker. A former student of Saint-Gaudens and the Ecole des Beau Arts in Paris, he became an instructor at the Boston Museum School. Prominent among his works were a medal for the President of Harvard University and a bicentennial medal for Yale University. In addition to medals, he also made busts and other sculptures. In 1915 he won a gold medal for an exhibit of seventeen pieces at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in California.

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. (All USRCI coins are guaranteed genuine and authenticated by one of the major grading services.)

Another innovation is Pratt’s use of realism in the obverse design. In 1899 a portrait of “Running Antelope” was used on the five dollar silver certificate. Pratt continued this trend by using a realistic portrait of an Indian brave for his emblem of liberty, as required by law. Although his name and tribe are unknown, the motif is a striking departure from the Indian head designs of the past that used stylized busts with fanciful headdresses to be emblematic of liberty. Above the portrait on the obverse is the word LIBERTY and below is the date. Six stars are on the left and seven are on the right. For the reverse, Pratt borrowed from his mentor’s eagle coin and chose the standing eagle motif. The magnificent eagle stands on a bundle of arrows that look like fasces, the Roman symbol of the power to kill, and the olive branch, symbolizing peace. Pratt placed all four inscriptions are on the reverse without it seeming too crowded. E PLURIBUS UNUM is in the left field and IN GOD WE TRUST is in the right. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, separated by dots, arcs above the eagle, and the denomination written as 2 ½ DOLLARS is below.

Only 70 to 90 proof 1914 quarter eagle are known in all grades. In its population report, NGC shows only 4 finer than the present piece. At PGCS there is none certified finer than PF66+. Here is an opportunity to obtain one of the best, a 1914 Superb Gem Proof 67 Indian Head quarter eagle.

 

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
www.usrarecoininvestments.com
Toll Free:
1-800-624-1870
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com

 


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