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Indian Head Quarter Eagle (1908-1929)

1908 Indian Head Quarter Eagle

1908 Indian Head Quarter Eagle
The 1908 Quarter Eagle is a popular issue due to its status as the first Indian Head Quarter Eagle. As with many 20th century first-year-of-issue pieces, it was saved as a curiosity and more exist in higher grades than is generally believed. But the demand level for this date remains very high and gems are eagerly sought-after by collectors.
1908 Quarter Eagle
PCGS No: 7939, 7957
Mintage: 564,821
Proofs: 236
Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Diameter: 18 millimeters
Metal content: 90% gold / Copper - 10%
Weight: ±64.5 grains (±4.18 grams)
Edge: Reeded
Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, PA) left of the arrowheads on the reverse.


STRIKE: The obverse is generally among the better struck issues of this type with very strong detail noted on the Indian's feathers and headband. The reverse, however, always shows weakness on the eagle's wing. This is actually not due to strike, but because of a lack of detail on the die. This problem was corrected on later issues, but on the 1908, it means that many coins with reverse weakness are mistaken for worn pieces.

SURFACES: Most show marks on the surfaces that range from slight to severe. There are some pieces that were probably put away in 1908 and have been carefully preserved since. It is possible for the collector to locate a piece that has above-average surfaces.

LUSTER: The luster seen on this issue is not as good as that found on the later Philadelphia dates. It is most often found with a soft, slightly satiny texture that is appealing, but not as "flashy" as, say, on the 1925 through 1929 dates.

COLORATION: The coloration seen on original specimens is usually a medium to deep green-gold hue. Specimens with attractive color are relatively easy to find.


EYE APPEAL: The overall level of eye appeal is slightly below average, primarily due to the weakness on the eagle's wing mentioned above. In addition, some 1908 Quarter Eagles are dull and have a somewhat grainy appearance. However, it is definitely possible to locate a piece that is cosmetically appealing.

Condition Census: To qualify in the Condition Census, a 1908 Indian Head Quarter Eagle must grade Mint State-66.

Proofs: 1908 Indian Quarter Eagles were struck with a dark matte finish and are found with deep olive-gold coloration. It is believed that around half of the original mintage figure of 236 pieces exist today. The 1908 is the most available Proof Indian Head Quarter Eagle in high grades and most survivors are in the Proof-64 to Proof-65 range. As with circulation strikes for this year, the Proofs appear to be saved as novelties by both collectors and non-collectors. For the collector who is seeking a single Proof issue of this design, the 1908 is an excellent choice.

 

 



The new style of the quarter eagles was designed by Bela Lyon Pratt. The obverse features a Native American chief with the legend LIBERTY above and the date below, with 13 stars surrounding. An eagle facing left dominates the reverse, perched atop a cluster of arrows draped by an olive branch. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above, and 2 1/2 DOLLARS below, with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM in the left field and IN GOD WE TRUST in the right field. Although many examples were saved as the first of their kind, most survivors lack definition on the upper portion of the eagle's wing, a result of the dies not being prepared properly. The 1907 quarter eagle is available in all grades, including gem condition, and specimens can even be located in MS-66 grades.



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1908 Quater Eagle - Information about 1908 Indian Head $2.5 - 1908 Indian Head Quarter Eagle


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