Indian Head Quarter Eagles represented a new and unusual minting technique using an incuse design. On the incuse coins, the design is impressed into the coin and is lower than the flat field. No American coins had been produced with an incuse design until the $2.5 and $5 Indian Head were minted.
Critics of the design feared that the recessed features would collect disease and dirt, and that the coins would be unhealthy. The incuse coins gathered no more dirt than coins with raised relief, nor have any study shown incuse coins to be any less healthy.
First year of Indian type, scarce in gem and better.