1925-D $2 1/2 Indian PCGS MS65 CAC
This particular design showcases a Native American Indian in left-facing profile, adorned with a feathered headdress. Positioned at the bottom is the date, while the word LIBERTY graces the top. Six stars are elegantly aligned along the left edge, with an additional seven stars adorning the right edge.
Flipping the coin reveals a depiction of an eagle at rest, standing atop a bundle of arrows, while an olive branch gracefully encircles them. To the left of the eagle is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, and to its right, the words IN GOD WE TRUST are prominently displayed. The coin's denomination is situated at the bottom, and the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA arches along the top half of the coin's edge.
President Roosevelt was determined to elevate American coins to a level of global excellence. To accomplish this vision, he engaged the talents of one of the nation's most distinguished sculptors, resulting in the splendid Saint-Gaudens Eagle and Double Eagle designs. Roosevelt's next endeavor involved a redesign of the quarter eagle and half eagle. He held a strong belief that mediocrity would not suffice in this pursuit. Recognizing that the Mint's Chief Engraver, Charles Barber, was unlikely to create anything beyond the ordinary and could potentially hinder any outside engraver invited to the Mint, Roosevelt took discreet action. Through a personal friend, he commissioned sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt to prepare models for the new quarter eagle and half eagle. Roosevelt was highly impressed with the results and promptly instructed the Mint to initiate coin production. However, true to his reputation, the envious Charles Barber delayed production for months, contending that modifications were needed before striking could commence. Regrettably, Barber's meddling only served to diminish the artistic essence of the coin, yet even his interference could not diminish the inherent beauty of Pratt's creation. Although not universally embraced during its era, the Indian Head Quarter Eagle is now widely regarded as one of the most aesthetically pleasing coins ever produced in America.
An interesting feature of these coins is that their design elements are incused, positioned below the surface. This characteristic drew a fair share of criticism, with some suggesting that the recessed areas could accumulate dirt and germs, potentially facilitating the spread of disease. This belief, however, was baseless and disregarded. Others expressed dissatisfaction with the portrayal of both the Indian and the eagle, a complaint that had some validity and was primarily the result of Barber's alterations to the original designs.
Collectors of Indian Head Quarter Eagles pursue them both by Type and by specific date and mintmark. One of the compelling aspects of building a date set is the absence of major rarities that could strain one's budget; the 1911-D stands out as the only coin that can be considered genuinely rare. As such, assembling a complete date and mintmark set remains reasonably affordable, particularly if the collector selects the 1911-D in a lower, circulated grade.
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