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Exceptional 1908-D No Motto Ten Dollar, MS65

1908-D $10 No Motto MS65 NGC. The 1908-D No Motto ten dollar piece, with its moderately low mintage of 210,000 pieces, is difficult to locate in Mint State grades. Indeed, NGC and PCGS have certified about 750 Uncirculated coins, with the vast majority falling into the MS60 to MS62 range. Another 150 or so grade MS63 or MS64, and only about 20 Gems and Premium Gems are known, as are a mere three MS67 specimens. A number of certified Mint State pieces are likely resubmitted or crossed-over coins, especially in the MS60 to MS62 or MS63 levels.
A point of interest regarding the 1908-D No Motto is that the mintmark placement is unique to the Indian Head ten dollar series, located to the upper left of the olive branch. On all subsequent dates it is to the left of the arrow points. Perhaps Mint officials thought that when the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added in the left field there would be too much clutter in that area, or that maybe the mintmark would not stand out as much.
The 1908-D No Motto eagle has the reputation as one of the least attractive in the series. Walter Breen (1988) contends that it is weak in the centers and often dull. Similarly, David Akers (2008) says that it is not only flatly struck on the obverse and lackluster with dull, muted surfaces, but is usually heavily bagmarked and possesses below-average eye appeal. These factors contribute to the paucity of Gem and better examples in the certified population.
The current MS65 offering is exceptional in many respects. Both sides display pleasing apricot-gold color with subtle greenish undertones and radiant luster. The design features are sharp, especially the headdress, LIBERTY, and the eagle's plumage. The usual softness is noted in the hair over the ear. The frosty surfaces are remarkably smooth. A solitary mark on the cheekbone probably prevents an even higher grade. In sum, this charming specimen yields superior eye appeal and will surely elicit spirited bidding among connoisseurs of quality gold coinage. Census: 9 in 65, 8 finer (9/09).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28GH, PCGS# 8854)

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Auction Dates
October, 2009
22nd-24th Thursday-Saturday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,030

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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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