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HomeUS Coins1915 Indian Head Quarter Eagle Proof : A Collector's Guide

1915 Indian Head Quarter Eagle Proof : A Collector’s Guide

1915 Proof Indian Head Quarter Eagle. Image: Stack’s Bowers.
1915 Proof Indian Head Quarter Eagle. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

100 Minted. Let that sink in.

The 1915 Indian Head quarter eagle Proof was the last of eight Proof issues for Bela Lyon-Pratt’s Indian Head design and the final Proof gold issue of the denomination, bringing to a close a Proof story that began for the $2.50 gold coin with the emission of a small number of Proofs in 1821. The Philadelphia Mint produced the entire mintage of 1915 Indian Head quarter eagle Proofs on November 15.

A year after the Mint suspended the coinage of gold Proofs coins, it would end Proof coinage for all other denominations.

Collectors of the period fancied the brilliant Proof issues of the late 19th century and did not cotton to the satin and matte-finished Proofs of the early 20th century. Perhaps the collectors were behind the times, or the Mint was ahead of theirs. Either way, matte-finished coins have come into their own in recent decades. Decidedly different from their circulation strike counterparts, the Mint imbued these coins with a look similar to the kind one would generally associate with medals.

Unfortunately, collectors and dealers have mishandled many examples over the years. Original coins sell for a premium and experience high demand from collectors. Gem Proof 20th-century gold Proof issues carry CoinWeek’s highest recommendations.

What is the 1915 Indian Head Quarter Eagle Proof Worth?

The Indian Head quarter eagle Proof is scarce, with various experts estimating the surviving population to be between 60 and 80 coins. Based on certification numbers and auction records, CoinWeek estimates the surviving population is closer to 65 to 70.

Through the beginning of 2008, PCGS had only certified two coins in the grade Proof 67 with none finer. That population has grown in the years since, and as of March 2024, sits at eight in 67, one in 67+, and one in 68. The sole Proof 67+ is the same coin that Stack’s sold in 2008 as a Proof 67.

While many coins of this Proof issue show signs of mistreatment, all are valuable. An acceptable market coin in grades up to Proof 63 will generally sell for $10,000 to $12,500. Gems are a safe bet to garner significant interest from collectors at auction. We estimate that the current market for this issue is between $36,000 and $40,000.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS PR-68 (1, 3/2024). NGC PF-68 (2, 3/2024). CAC PR-68 (1:0 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

  • PCGS PR-67+ #00021915: As PCGS PR-67. Stack’s, March 26, 2008, Lot 653 – $74,750. When offered pop 2 coin. Later upgraded by one half point. Copper spot on the second-to-bottom tail feather, on neck under braid, and to the left of the eagle’s neck.
  • NGC PF-67 #665862-004: “The Cody Brady Collection, Part IV,” Heritage Auctions, July 14, 2022, Lot 3237 – $49,200. Old holder.
  • PCGS PR-67 #40900076: “The Spectacular 1915 Proof Set,” Heritage Auctions, January 21, 2021, Lot 4077 – $66,000.
  • NGC PF-67 #3887810-008: Heritage Auctions, April 25, 2019, Lot 3833 – $39,600.
  • PCGS PR-67 #25621510: As PCGS PR-67 #4694732. “The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 4, 2007, Lot 3120 – $74,750. When offered, this was the top pop, pop 1 coin in the PCGS census. As PCGS PR-67 #11618884. Heritage Auctions, January 2011, Lot 5056; Heritage Auctions, August 12, 2011, Lot 7478 – $69,000; Heritage Auctions, August 3, 2012, Lot 5320 – $64,625; “The Leon Hendrickson Collection,” Heritage Auctions, December 3, 2015, Lot 3316 – $42,300. As PCGS PR-67 #25621510. Heritage Auctions, April 28, 2016, Lot 4767 – $44,650. Swoop of dark color at the tip of the Indian’s headdress to the edge above star 10. Dark spot under E of E PLURIBUS.
  • PCGS PR-67 #25636026: Stack’s Bowers, March 31, 2016, Lot 13170 – $50,525.
  • PCGS PR-67 CAC #25688265: Stack’s Bowers, August 2015, Lot 10226 – $79,312.50.
  • NGC PF-67 #1560642-001: “The Wisconsin Gold Type Set Collection,” Heritage Auctions, July 31, 2009, Lot 1238 – $40,250.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1915
Denomination: $2.50 (USD)
Mint Mark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 100
Alloy: .900 Gold, .100 Copper
Weight: 4.18 g
Diameter: 18.00 mm
Edge Reeded
OBV Designer Bela Lyon Pratt
REV Designer Bela Lyon Pratt
Quality: Proof

 

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Learn more about this classic United States gold coin series by reading our Indian Head Quarter Eagle gold coin hub page.

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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