U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting

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Proof early gold elusive
By Mark Ferguson

Proof gold coins are collected by a minority of collectors. Their prices begin at several thousand dollars each, and many mintages are extremely low, often fewer than a couple dozen pieces per issue.

Because of space considerations and the small percentage of collectors regularly collecting them, Proof gold coin values are not included in the print version of Coin Values magazine.

Instead they are listed on our Web site, CoinValuesOnline.com.

During the past year, we’ve embarked on a significant expansion of the grades and varieties for which we list values, in most series.

In fact, this expansion has been so enormous that, for a few areas, we need do additional research in order to confirm values.

Pre-1934 Proof gold was one of those areas. But now you can find values for virtually all of these issues on our Web site, from Proof 60 through either Proof 65 or Proof 66.

In addition to low mintages, some issues have very few coins certified in the higher grades, so our listings do not include the top end but show grades likely to be frequently graded and traded.

A few Draped Bust, Capped Bust and Classic Head design gold coins are certified as Proofs.

Because so few are known, though, we do not list values for these coins.

Sales of these pieces are about as rare as their mintages. For example, just three to five examples of some Classic Head quarter and half eagle issues are believed to have been struck.

Collectors and investors who have the means to purchase pre-1934 Proof gold coins often collect by design type rather than by date, except for the Indian Head and Saint-Gaudens design series.

These two later designs have mintages that range from about 50 pieces to more than 100 per issue.

They also have matte finishes that are not as susceptible to hairline scratches as are the highly reflective finishes of the Coronet design.

Unimpaired Proof Indian and Saint-Gaudens coins that are not harshly cleaned or otherwise damaged are available for just a few thousand dollars for Proof 60 coins, up to about $20,000 to nearly $100,000 for common-date Proof 65 grades, depending on denomination.

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