David Akers (1975/88): The 1929 is quite rare in any Mint State grade, and the majority of Uncirculated specimens are quite heavily bagmarked, thereby falling into the MS-60 to 62 category. Choice BU examples, i.e. MS-63 quality pieces, are very rare and this issue is almost never seen above that level. Trying to find an MS-64 is likely to be a frustrating task and the number of true gems (MS-65 coins) is very, very small. If anything exists that is better than MS-65 I have not seen or heard of it, although Dr. Steven Duckor's gem, the finest I have ever seen, might be called at least MS-65+ by some.
The 1929 is generally well struck, but some examples show a definite weakness on the obverse, particularly on the lowest feather of the headdress. On many specimens, an unusual line or indentation runs along the circumference inside the edge; it is most noticeable through the date and STATES OF on the reverse. Most examples of this final year of issue have very good to excellent lustre, frosty or sometimes moderately satiny surfaces, and color that is typically medium to deep yellow gold, often with a greenish tint.P. Scott Rubin: The 1929 Indian Half Eagle is a rare coin, especially in high grade. Even after David Akers' statements of how rare the coin is in MS-65, no new specimens have appeared to change his evaluation of its rarity.
The highest price for a Half Eagle of this date is $86,250, realized at the Heritage 2011 FUN Platinum Night Sale, lot 5156 for the Jim O’Neal specimen graded MS-65 by PCGS (as of June, 2014).
There have been over 500 auction appearances of 1929 Half Eagles at auction since its first appearance in 1936. Most of these sales were for Uncirculated coins. It should be remembered that this, the last year of the denomination, was a depression-era issue and five dollars was a lot of money for the time. So it seems that most of these specimens, even the ones saved near the time of issue, were not well preserved. This makes the small number of MS65 coins (the highest grade awarded by either PCGS or NGC) extremely desirable, and reinforces the accuracy of David Akers’ evaluation.
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