1908 Indian Quarter Eagle. JD-1, the only known dies. Rarity-4. Proof-67 (NGC). This charming and rare premium Gem is an outstanding example of the Indian quarter eagle in Proof format. Fully struck with razor sharp definition throughout the design, both sides also offer rich honey-rose color throughout. The delicate sandblast finish exhibits myriad sparkling facets upon close inspection with a loupe, but the surfaces reveal no "shiny spots" or other detracting blemishes. Virtually pristine, in fact, this delightful coin would serve as a highlight in even the finest gold cabinet.Bela Lyon Pratts unique incuse Indian Head design made its debut on the quarter eagle and half eagle in 1908. Pratts attractive design was part of the era that noted numismatic researcher Roger Burdette has termed the "Renaissance of American Coinage." The dawn of this era is closely associated with President Theodore Roosevelt, one of whose many causes was the improvement of the nations coinage designs. Indeed, Pratt had come to the attention of the president through a mutual friend, Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow, a physician who was also a passionate collector of Japanese art. The introduction of Pratts new design coincided with the Mints use of a radically new finish in its production of Proof gold coinage. Whereas Proofs of the preceding Liberty head design had been produced using either a cameo or all-brilliant finish, the Proof 1908 Indian quarter eagle was prepared using the technique of sandblasting the surfaces after striking to provide a heavy, coarse-grain texture to the finish.In anticipation of strong sales linked to the debut of the new design type, the Philadelphia Mint struck a generous number (236 pieces) of Proof 1908 quarter eagles. While enough specimens were indeed ordered and preserved by the contemporary public to make the 1908 the most plentiful Proof Indian two-and-a-half in todays market, the sandblast finish came as a shock to many and overall sales were disappointing. Probably at least one third of the mintage was eventually melted as unsold. This expertly preserved Superb Gem numbers among the finest survivors known to the major third-party certification services, and it is a lovely example of both the type and Sandblast Proof production methods. PCGS# 7957. NGC ID: 289G.