$2.50 Indian Gold
The Quarter Eagle denomination of the early 20th century Gold Indian design is by far the most popular among collectors. Just like the Indian Half Eagles though, they have that unique characteristic of raised fields and sunken in devices. This makes these coins stick out from mostly any other American numismatic series but also makes grading extremely difficult since the fields wear first. Theodore Roosevelt famously hired Augustus Saint-Gaudens to improve the beauty of the double eagle but the smaller denomination gold coinage designed by Bela Lyon Pratt was not widely accepted. The odd recessed design and replacement of lady liberty with an "Indian" was looked upon very negatively. A century or so later these coins are now highly prized and accepted for these same reasons. It is a short series as there were gaps in production plus the permanent stoppage for all gold coins in 1933. That along with a range of dates from very common to super key makes this a fun series to collect. The modern drawbacks for the series are the fact that they are small and have raised fields so grading ability and diagnostic knowledge of each issue is a necessity. No American coin is more difficult to grade since the devices can be pristine but if there is wear on in the fields the value and grade drops quickly. It does create a fine opportunity though for those who develop a keen eye for these coins as they automatically catapult themselves to the forefront of this numismatic sector. More on the unique design is how this coin was the first depiction of American Indians to appear as they actually looked. The even more famous and collectible Indian Head Cents just displayed lady liberty dressed as a native woman. Just as much as any coin especially gold ones these coins are heavily counterfeited and altered in which you must be very careful buying them raw. Lookout for added mintmarks and pay close attention on the Indian’s neck between the hair and feathers. Any odd depressions or markings in this area is a tell tale sign. Overall it is a very desirable, short and challenging series.
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