Proof early gold
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,
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
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.