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The Gold Indians of Bela Lyon Pratt


SKU: 11011
ISBN 13: 9780692713136
ISBN 10: 0692713131
EAN: 9780692713136
BARCODE: 9780692713136
Regular Price: $40.00
Sale Price: $40.00


The Gold Indians of Bela Lyon Pratt is the first comprehensive book ever written exclusively about this popular and unique American coin series. Designed by Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt in 1908, they are the only U.S. coins ever produced with a "sunken relief." Pratt's Indian is based upon the image of Brulé Sioux Chief Hollow Horn Bear. The chapter describing his identification is a fascinating and informative factual clarification of its design, the participating characters, as well as a detailed repudiation of other erroneous works published on the topic.
The Gold Indians of Bela Lyon Pratt includes an extensive biography of Pratt, his education and sculptural history. Much of it is in his own words excerpted directly from an archive of more than 1,000 letters written by his own hand. Numerous images from the Pratt family photo archives are presented in print here, for the first time anyplace in more than 100 years.
Numismatic contents include the most complete and up-to-date information available, with chapters on the coins' design elements, and comparisons of the changes made from the original plasters to the production issues. It includes: grading the gold Indians, data sheets with specifics about values, rarities, auction records, unusual varieties and attributions, images of some of the finest examples ever encapsulated, numerous charts, a photographic grading section and more. Every date, Branch Mint issue and Proof coin of both denominations is presented clearly and concisely, visually and descriptively. This invaluable reference is designed to be a complete, up-to-date handy guide for every collector and dealer, beginner or professional.
The Gold Indians of Bela Lyon Pratt presents this talented sculptor as the artistic giant he truly was until his untimely death at the age of 49, in 1917. His tremendous talent, sculptural innovativeness and creativity will, once better known in numismatic circles, forever bring Bela Lyon Pratt out from under the shadow of Saint-Gaudens to stand in his own right as an immense talent and highly accomplished American sculptor.
Binding: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Publication Date: August 2016
Size: 6x9
Pages: 416

CoinWeek says:

That the Indian $2.50 and $5.00 coins were released in the shadows of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ $10 eagle and $20 double eagle gold coins played no small part in the public’s lack of appreciation for the Pratt designs–as did the coins’ radical departure from traditional elevated relief. To see how much the numismatic community hated the coins, all one has to do is log into the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) digital archives of The Numismatist and read how the self-righteous collectors of the day badgered the Treasury about their distaste for the coins (early ANA members were trolls when it came to new design).

With time, collector enthusiasm for the two series has grown and continues to grow.

It’s been 83 years since gold coins last circulated in the United States. Many Americans have never heard of a $2.50 or $5 gold coin, much less seen or held one. The denominations have slipped into the realms of curiosity and esotericism, or (for lesser specimens of the coins, at least) the realm of investment-grade bullion. But it’s difficult to imagine a true coin collector being left wanting after giving a close read of Schein’s book.

And while a professional company from the mainstream book publishing industry might have seen fit to tone down some of the author’s enthusiasm (a questionable tactic in the Age of the Internet), a book like this shows real dedication and is a real revelation.

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