1909 $10 PR (PCGS# 8891)
The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money
Lot Number: 4538
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1909 Indian Eagle. Proof-67 (NGC). The original mintage of 74 pieces has been reduced by time and attrition to between 50 and 65 pieces today. Offered is one of the very best of this select group, exceeded in quality by just two specimens when combining both grading services. These were struck in the "Roman Finish" style which gives the surfaces a handsome lemon-yellow color. The fields and devices offer semi-brilliant reflectivity which is considerably subdued when compared to earlier gold Proof finishes, which produced a bold mirror fields and frosted devices on the Liberty gold series. On these matte style Indian eagle Proofs of varying finishes, the fields and devices show minute interlocking facets that twinkle when examined under a light. Proofs struck in this format are very different from the circulation strike coinage of the same year and design. <br />
Humans often resist change, and such was the case when these Matte style Indian gold Proofs were first seen by collectors. The darker matte finishes of 1908 were just too different from prior years, and by 1909 this experimental Roman Finish was introduced. Being lighter in color and with elements that flashed in the form of the tiny facets, such an adjustment should have appealed more to the collectors of that era. This change did not seem to satisfy, and sales of Proof eagles continued to slide going forward. Hence the great rarity of these Indian eagle Proof gold coins. Today, the philosophy is somewhat different and these Proofs are highly coveted by numismatists for their elegant beauty.