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Important 1907 Rolled Rim Ten, Near-Mint State

1907 $10 Rolled Rim AU58 NGC. The ninth edition of Judd (2005) lists the 1907 Rolled Rim ten as a pattern, Judd-1903 (formerly Judd-1775). Interestingly, the same reference states that "for circulation 31,500 were made," hence disqualifying this issue as a true pattern by the very nature of their intended purpose. It is true, however, that the 1907 Wire Rim and Rolled Rim designs were deemed inferior to the revised design as prepared by Homer Saint-Gaudens and his assistant, Henry Hering, from Augustus Saint-Gaudens' original concept. The modified design (No Periods) is what was ultimately released into circulation, while the former two versions were mostly distributed to privileged individuals, sold to the public, or melted.
The total number of Rolled Rim tens that survived the original mintage of 31,500 coins is subject to debate. The Judd reference documents that "at least 23 pieces are known to have escaped the destruction and entered in records as having been sold to collectors and others." Garrett and Guth, in their 2006 Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, suggests 42 survivors, as do other references. The most current research--that of Roger Burdette--finds that the number saved was actually 50 coins. In his Renaissance of American Coinage, 1905-1908, Burdette refers to a November 9, 1907 letter found in the National Archives that was written by Mint Superintendent John Landis to Mint Director Frank Leach. From the correspondence, it was determined that Director Leach "decided that the incorrectly minted eagles should be destroyed, and on November 9 he approved melting $315,000 (31,500) in gold eagles made from the second models (border, with periods), holding back only fifty pieces for collectors."
Today the 1907 Rolled Rim eagle remains a rare and desirable coin, regardless of the actual number saved. As of (6/08), NGC and PCGS combined have certified 75 examples--a number which certainly reflects multiple resubmissions of the same coin. Most survivors are Uncirculated, which is logical since this issue never entered the channels of commerce. The current coin represents one of the few lightly circulated examples known and, as such, is a welcome opportunity for budget-conscious collectors.
This piece was probably not just a pocket piece for some fortunate collector. From the numerous abrasions scattered over each side it shows extensive contact with other coins, more than would be expected from a pocket piece. That being said, the only mark of consequence is a scrape to the left of the date. A bit softly struck in the centers, as one would expect. The surfaces are bright yellow-gold throughout.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 268C, PCGS# 8851)

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Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2008
30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
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The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
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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