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All Posts Tagged With: "Unusual Items"

Unusual Items: 1906 Indian Cent. Struck in Gold

One of the more unusual and rare items in US numismatics will be auctioned by Stack’s in their Philadelphia Americana Sale September 23-26 in Philadelphia,  is Lot 4299, an Indian Head Cent struck in gold.  From the Stacks Catalog description ……..

stacks_gold_indian_cent_092309“This off-metal error is 18.3 mm (horizontal) X 18.1 mm (vertical). 1.1 mm to 1.2 mm thick. Plain Edge. with Lovely olive gold fields join yellow gold lustre and coppery highlights in the protected areas. This specimen weighs 64.4 grains and was probably struck on a quarter eagle planchet, which should weigh 64.5 grains. The physical size of the planchet is also very similar to that of a quarter eagle (17.78 mm), the slightly larger diameter of this specimen accounted for by the spread during striking of the soft gold to fill the larger diameter collar (19.05 mm) of an Indian cent.

Only a handful of Indian Head cents in gold of various dates are known. The most frequently encountered Indian cent in gold is the 1900, which is estimated at two to four specimens, according to various sources. We have traced two specimens:

1) John A. Beck (A. Kreisberg, January 1975, Lot 609), later sold as Auction ’89:856, again as part of the 1991 ANA Sale (B&M, August 1991, Lot 4103) and now owned by error collector Mike Byers;

2) 1993 ANA Sale (Heritage, July 1993, Lot 8000). Although the uspatterns.com web site reports that “With regard to the 1900, 3 or 4 are believed to exist including the circulated 1993 ANA example and the PCGS65 Col Green, Beck, Byers coin,” this estimate might be on the high side. A 1900 in gold is pictured as coin 6 in figure 131 of Don Taxay’s Counterfeit, Mis-Struck and Unofficial U.S. Coins, but it is hard to determine whether or not this is one of the above two listed specimens.

The 1900 is listed as Pollock 1990, referencing the 1991 ANA Sale specimen, and it is also listed in Judd’s Appendix B. A 1900 specimen in the Dewitt Smith collection was purchased by Virgil Brand in 1908 and is listed in his ledgers as #46973, but it is not clear whether this is one of the pieces cited above. Also known is a silver 1900 specimen struck from the same, rusted dies used to produce the gold specimens. The 1907 is referenced in several places, including Judd’s Appendix B, but has not been seen at auction recently. It is not inconceivable that other dates exist, as well as additional specimens of known dates.
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