A Guide To Collecting Indian Quarter Eagles

So, you have decided to collect Indian Quarter Eagles. If you are not sure how or where to start, consider this a guide with some helpful tips on collecting this fascinating series.

What Makes Indian Quarter Eagles So Special?

Firstly, congratulations on choosing a great series to collect! The Indian Quarter Eagles are a very popular coin with an interesting design. In 1908, Bela Lyon Pratt, a student of the American artist and engraver, Augustus St. Gaudens, introduced an innovative and unprecedented facet to American coinage: the incuse design. On a standard American coin, the fields (background) of the design is usually the lowest part of the coin, while the devices of the design are raised. Just the opposite is true on a coin with an “incuse” design. The fields are the highest point of the design, while the devices are set lower into the coin. Pratt’s incuse design laid the groundwork for one of the most interesting issues of all American coinage.

Could I Actually Complete This Series?

Indian Quarter Eagles are an excellent series to collect because completing an entire set is a much more doable task than completing other series. The Indian Quarter Eagles had a run of only fifteen date and mint mark combinations. Compare that number with their predecessor, the Liberty Quarter Eagle, which had a run of 137 date and mint mark combinations rife with expensive key dates - and that number does not even take into account major varieties! The Indian Quarter Eagle only has one major key date: the 1911-D. If you are looking for a relatively affordable pre-1933 gold series to collect, Indian Quarter Eagles are probably your best bet. The set can be completed in choice AU to low-end MS for about $350-$450 per coin, with two or three venturing into the $600 - $700 range. A nice AU 1911-D would run about $3,000. If you have your sights set on completing an interesting, popular, and relatively affordable pre-1933 series, the Indian Quarter Eagle is probably right for you.


Should I Collect Certified or Raw Coins?

Deciding whether to collect certified or raw pre-1933 coins can be a tough choice. While certified coins are guaranteed to be authentic, impartially assigned a numerical grade and sealed in an airtight holder, raw coins are generally cheaper and appeal to collectors who like to physically feel gold in their hands. When it comes to Indian Quarter Eagles, however, you are usually better off buying certified coins. Certified coins are preferable for two reasons particular to the Indian Quarter Eagle: a guarantee of authenticity, and a numerical grade assigned by professionals.

Firstly, a guarantee of authenticity is essential because Quarter Eagle Indians are perhaps the single most counterfeited series of American coin. A guarantee of authenticity by professionals whose sole job is to authenticate and grade coins safeguards against the hordes of counterfeit coins that plague this series.

Secondly, because of its unique design, the Indian Quarter Eagle’s design makes it one of the most difficult-to-grade coins - even for seasoned collectors. A numerical grade assigned by professional numismatists guarantees your coin’s grade. When buying a raw Indian Quarter Eagle, you are dependent on your own counterfeiting and grading skills to authenticate and grade one of the most counterfeited and difficult-to-grade coins.

Buying a certified coin essentially eliminates these risks. If you are set on buying raw Indian Quarter Eagles, make sure it is from a trusted source! One should note that Bullion Exchanges has a 100% Guarantee of Authenticity and a dedicated and knowledgeable numismatic team which assigns grades accurately on all Indian Quarter Eagles.

How Do I Get Started?

One reason coin collecting is such a popular hobby is because of the stories and history coins tell. Not only does each individual coin have a story, but each mintage of coins in a given year has a story and its own unique characteristics. A good way to start learning about a specific year of Indian Quarter Eagle before you buy it is by heading over to NGC’s Coin Explorer or PCGS’s CoinFacts and reading about it. By learning about the coin you are about to buy, you can develop a much deeper appreciation for your collection. Once you are ready to buy, you can start by checking out our selection of Indian Quarter Eagles here. Congratulations again on choosing an excellent series to pursue, and happy collecting!