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Extraordinary 1907 Wire Rim Indian Eagle, MS66

1907 $10 Wire Rim MS66 PCGS. The Wire Rim (or Wire Edge) eagle is the nearest that the Philadelphia Mint came to reproducing the Indian Head ten dollar design as originally conceived by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Theodore Roosevelt. The wire rim feature on this design is the result of metal being forced between the collar and the dies during striking. Potential complications in the minting process when applied to mass production, along with other impracticalities, resulted in an immediate alteration of the original design, after just 500 examples of the Wire Rim type were produced in late August to early September of 1907. (A further 42 pieces were struck between late September and December of that year. Eventually, 70 unsold examples were melted in 1915, leaving a net mintage for the Wire Rims of 472 coins, according to Roger Burdette's Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908.)
Since these coins were never intended for circulation, most of the surviving examples exist in Mint State. When broken down by grade levels, a survey of combined current population data at NGC and PCGS reveals that the majority of pieces are certified at MS63, MS64, or MS65. At the Premium Gem level of preservation, however, this type becomes very scarce. The two companies together have designated just 35 specimens at MS66, and only 8 coins finer (all 8 at MS67).
The next design version was the so-called Rolled Edge variety, which likewise proved to be short-lived. Eventually, a third design type referred to as the "No Periods" variety was adopted for regular issue Indian eagle coinage of 1907.
This is a simply extraordinary 1907 Wire Rim Indian Head eagle whose surfaces are overlaid in rich, satiny luster. Random striations from die polishing are seen in the fields, particularly on the reverse, features that attest to the fact that great care was taken in the production of these coins. The soft, frosted surfaces are primarily yellow-gold in color, with suggestions of delicate green patina accenting the obverse. Even the major design elements are essentially void of handling marks; however, a couple of small abrasions are noted in the right reverse field. A spectacular piece from both numismatic and artistic vantage points. PCGS Population: 16 in 66, 3 finer (11/08).
From The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles.
See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 8850)

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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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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