$2 1/2 Indian Proof 67 NGC, In researching auction sales
records over a period of 30 years, we are able to count
a few hundred auction appearances of Proof Indian Gold.
We have found in that same period less than a couple dozen
in all grades, with many duplications that were dated
1915. This issue is tied with 1909 for the most infrequently
offered proof quarter eagle of the Indian Head type. In
and around 1975, whenDavid Akers published his Auction
Analysis of quarter eagles, and he noted the rarity of
this issue at that time: "The proofs of this year
are the rarest of this type with the possible exception
of the 1909. Certainly the 1915 is the rarest matte proof
quarter eagle, yet it usually realizes only a modest premium."
Just 100 of these coins were originally produced in 1915,
with an unknown quantity melted a year later, the smallest
distribution total of any proof Indian Head quarter eagle.
At the time, collectors were not so fond of the matte
proof appearance, thus few took the trouble to acquire
pieces at the time of issue. The exact number of survivors
is not specifically known, although various estimates
range between 15 and 50 coins. It is probably realistic
to place the number of survivors at about 25 or 30 coins.
This was the final year of issue for the proof gold coinage.
Garrett and Guth comment: "Collector demand had fallen
in most years, and proof gold coinage was halted in 1916
for regular-issue gold denominations." Of course,
regular issue gold production stopped altogether at the
Philadelphia Mint in 1916 and did not resume until 1920.
The specimen shown here has the usual fine-grain matte
surface with bright olive-gold color and sharp design
elements. Each side has pristine surfaces and exceptional
aesthetic appeal. This is undoubtedly among the finest
1915 proof quarter eagles we handled or even seen. Population:
6 in 67, 1 finer (10/08).
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