Rare Rolled Edge 1907 Saint-Gaudens Eagle, MS66
1907 $10 Rolled Edge MS66 PCGS. Ex: O'Neal. Unlike the 1907
Wire Rim Indian gold eagle, the similarly dated Rolled Edge
delivery was intended for general circulation. To protect the
surfaces and eliminate the problems associated with the high wire
rim, the Mint modified the original Indian eagle design to include
a protective rim. A total of 31,550 pieces were produced, but
concern over possible public criticism caused all but 50 examples
to be melted prior to release. The 50 coins that escaped
destruction did so either through the Assay Commission, through
collectors with inside connections, or museums that obtained
examples directly from the Mint.
Some confusion remains in the numismatic community regarding these rare and important coins. They have sometimes been classified as patterns and received the Judd number 1775, later changed to Judd-1903. Since they were produced for circulation, however, this designation seems inaccurate.
Like the 1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagles, the 1907 eagles required two unsuccessful design "trials" before a final design variation was decided upon for circulation. They consisted, respectively, of the so-called Wire Rim (High Relief) version, the current Rolled Edge variety, and the final, adopted No Periods design which was completed by Henry Hering and Homer Saint-Gaudens after the death of Augustus Saint-Gaudens on August 7, 1907. The final design included lower relief on the devices than on the Wire Rim coins, and a rim border similar to that of the Rolled Edge type. This was a protective rim that would protect the coins' devices from excessive wear and allow them to be stacked atop one another. A letter from Chief Engraver Charles Barber to Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Landis explained his concerns on this subject:
"Before final adoption of the new design for the Eagle gold coin I beg to call your attention to that which in my judgement is a serious defect namely, the want of border or determinate edge to make a finish to the coin.
In the present condition of the design and model, the coin when struck is without a border, consequently, when the planchet receives sufficient blow of the press to make the proper impression, there being no edge or place for the metal to flow into, it is forced up between the die and collar making a fin or sharp edge which would not stand attrition, but would soon disappear, leaving a light weight coin that would be rejected by the Banks and custom offices and sub-treasuries.
There is also another objection to the design in the present condition namely, it will not pile.
There being no proper border above the relief of the design for the coins to rest upon, it is dependant (sic) upon the convexity of the die to make the concavity of the coin sufficient to clear the relief of the design when the coins are put face to face.
As the convexity of the die cannot be fixed and is liable to change in the process of tempering the steel, and also in striking the pieces, it will be seen, that there is no reliable provision made to cover this requisite in these coins, and therefore, the pieces have no proper seat, but are resting in some cases upon a sharp edge and in others upon the shoulder of the Eagle.
To overcome this defect I would suggest that a border be turned in the die as shown in coin exhibit No. 2, I think you will agree with me that this change in no way detracts from any claim that may be made for artistic excellence, but on the contrary adds to the appearance of the coin and overcomes the objections mentioned above. This change will cause but little delay in the issuing of the coin and can be completed long before the models are sent us for the Double Eagle.
Awaiting your instructions in regard to this matter, I am
(Letter dated August 26, 1907, reprinted in Roger Burdette's Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908, p. 111)
This is a typically attractive coin for the issue with exemplary luster characteristics. Both sides are drenched in rich reddish-gold and orange-gold colors with a pleasing blend of satin and frosty features. The strike is a little soft in the centers--a diagnostic trait of the issue--and the otherwise pristine surfaces reveal a few tiny specks in the left, upper, and lower right reverse fields. An important coin for the advanced Indian eagle collector. Population: 14 in 66, 3 finer (6/09).
From The Bay State Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 268C, PCGS# 8851)
View all of [The Bay State Collection, Part Two ]
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Revised Edition by James L. Halperin, Mark R. Borckardt, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan, with special contributor David W. Akers
The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an issue-by-issue examination of these two artistically inspired series of gold coins.
Each date and mintmark is reviewed with up-to-date information, much of which has never been previously published. The book is based on
two extraordinary collections: The Phillip H. Morse collection and the Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor collection.
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