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Vibrant 1907 Wire Rim Eagle, MS66

1907 $10 Wire Rim MS66 PCGS. The 1907 Wire Rim ten dollar piece represents the first attempt by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to execute an Indian Head design in U.S. gold. David Akers, writing about this issue in his catalog of the May 19, 1998 sale of The Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection, says:

"Many aspects of the design ... turned out to be impractical both from a production standpoint and a commercial standpoint, and thus the design was subsequently altered by Chief Engraver of the Mint, Charles Barber, first to the Rolled Edge variety and subsequently to what is now known as the No Periods variety or regular issue. The Wire Edge, although best characterized as being a pattern (and so listed in the Judd pattern reference as J-1774), has always been collected as part of the regular series. The exact mintage of this variety is not known for certain, although it is generally accepted that the figure is 500 pieces. This number comes from a 1908 letter from dealer Henry Chapman to John Work Garrett, and since Henry Chapman had very close connections at the Mint, it is quite probable that this number is correct. Despite this ultra-low mintage, by far the lowest mintage of the series, the 1907 Wire Edge is not in the upper echelon of Indian Head Eagles in terms of rarity, particularly condition rarity. Because of their novelty and status as the first version of a new and artistically beautiful design, many were obviously saved and perhaps as many as two-thirds to three-fourths of the original mintage still can be accounted for today. Wire Edge Eagles were in great demand by numismatists almost immediately after they were struck. In Mehl's 1921 G.F.E. Wilharm sale, he noted, 'When first issued, this variety sold up to $75.00,' an extraordinary premium for the period."

Only recently, through the efforts of Roger Burdette, has the exact mintage of the 1907 Wire Rim been determined. 500 pieces were struck in August and September of 1907, and another 42 between October and December. Then the 70 pieces that remained unsold in 1915 were melted, giving a net of 472 Wire rim tens released.
Vivid orange-gold color bathes the highly lustrous surfaces of this gorgeous Premium Gem. The design elements exhibit relatively sharp definition for the issue, that usually exhibits soft and mushy motifs. This results from Charles Barber's lack of skill with the new Janvier Reduction Lathe (The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 2006). The wire rim is evident on portions of both sides. Frosty surfaces are devoid of mentionable marks, and numerous die polish lines occupy the reverse fields. Outstanding overall eye appeal. Population: 15 in 66, 3 finer (6/07).(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 8850)

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Auction Dates
August, 2007
8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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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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