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Any Tips on Incuse $2.50 Indian Head?

12 posts in this topic

The one gold coin I'm letting myself fit into my budget this year is a 1908 quarter eagle. I was perusing Teletrade and found this example (pictures embedded below). Unfortunately, incuse gold are among the coins I know the least about, especially of the coins minted in the last century.




Can anyone give me tips on what to look for? For example, on that coin I linked to, my first impression is that it's a pretty nice example (I'm going for an MS-62). The obverse shows some nice darker gold-colored toning. The reverse appears the same, but the darker mark on the eagle's wing (just below the neck) confuses me (lightly handled?), as does the general mottled appearance of the reverse field.


Besides knowing the least about what to expect from this and the half eagle indian design, historic gold is the metal I know least about in terms of what to expect in color and condition for a given grade.


Any help?

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The biggest tip that I can give to you is this: Don't spend it at face value! hehe...


If your pics are accurate then this is a nice color for gold in higher grades. Lower circulated gold should never be bright and shiny. If it is then it has been baking soda'd or something of the like.


This is a nice coin and color from coinraritiesonline.




This is an original, gorgeous patina that I love and is increasingly rare:




Another nice look!



You should be getting the idea now of what circulated, crusty gold SHOULD look like.






What to look for on the incused Indian design? Rub on the high points, e.g. the cheek and eagle breast.




Oldtrader3 is the best man I know that can give you further advice. Let's hope he sees this thread.

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This is the first year for the type and the top of the eagle's wing did not have the detail present on the hubs that you are looking for it to display. Later years had this area worked on and they look different. The odd look for the fields might be from the fact that I believe these coins do not display luster in a manner consistent with other coinage since they are incuse and metal flow would be lessened during the striking process.

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Here is a picture of a properly graded MS 62 1914-d Quarter Eagle.

You have to be careful that you do not get a Indian that has been puttied. It is difficult to see the putty from a photo.


As Tom B said for the 1908 year the top of the eagles wing looks flat becuase of a lack of detail in the dies that were used. As you can see from this 1914-d there is nice detail in the wings.



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For what it's worth here is one in an NGC MS63 slab for comparative reasons.





Great photo and nice coin Bob! (thumbs u


I think that this coin is really an MS-64 going by the photo. Virtually all 1908 quarter eagles are weak at the top of the wing. This is a characteristic of the year which the mint corrected in 1909. For that reason you can’t lower the grade because of a lack of detail in that area.

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Thank you for those very kind words. I still have some of my hair and fingernails left. Fortunately I took that picture before I knew what I was doing.

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Thanks for all the information, folks! I ended up letting that particular coin pass because of all my other planned coin purchases this month (UHR St. on Jan. 22, anyone?). But I will keep this thread bookmarked for, say, next month. ;)

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I got in late on this. The best advice I can give you is.... don't settle for MS-62. These tend to be to scratchy in that grade. Hold out for a nicer MS-63. The cost is somewhat higher, but there's a reason why - it's just much more desirable.

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