Indian with a golden glow: Exceptional quarter eagle coin could bring $50,000
Hurricane Irene has certainly made its presence felt in New York where numismatic specialists Spink Smythe have two sales planned this week. The Walden collection, which was intended for today (August 30) has been put off until Thursday.

However, their Collectors Series sale is going ahead tomorrow as planned with some exceptional lots on offer. One of the highlights in the sale will undoubtedly be a 1911 $2.5 coin, rated PR68 by the NGC.

After a brief departure to the experimental proof 'Roman' finish Quarter Eagles in 1909 and 1910, the Mint returned to the Matte finish in 1911.

While not often as dark, the date, much like the 1908 proof, is often encountered with a colour that skews towards an olive or brown-gold hue. The surfaces however appear coarser than the previous archetype with texture comparable to sandpaper.

The present coin, unlike most examples of the date, is set in gorgeous bright yellow-gold, with the customary matte texture within the fields and devices that emit above-average sparkle.

1911 quarter eagle coin
The well-preserved 1911 quarter eagle coin

As a result of the matte proof production process, some design detail is necessarily incomplete with the Indian's headdress and the eagle's breast feathers being areas worthy of particular mention. Inspection with a loupe finds only essentially imperceptible grazes that are viewable at sharp angles beneath a light.

As one might be able to anticipate from the stratospheric condition of the present example, similar offerings at auction are truly rare events.

When taking all into context, considering that only 191 examples of this date were originally coined, then factoring in an attrition rate that is likely around 20-30 coins, and finally taking into account the unsurpassable condition and eye-appeal that exists within the present proof, one must consider it among the more important single coins in the entire series.

An example worthy of the finest Quarter Eagle collection given its NGC population of 12 at PR68 with none finer, it is listed at $ 40,000-50,000 in the sale which takes place in New York and online.

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