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Bright, Frosted MS66 1908-D No Motto Ten Dollar

1908-D $10 No Motto MS66 PCGS. At the beginning of 1908 Frank Downer, Superintendent of the Denver Mint, faced the problem of producing new starred-edge eagles. In late January, he had been sent face dies, edge collars, and a sample mechanism for controlling the collar segments during striking. The Philadelphia Mint mechanics also sent drawings of how they thought the apparatus could be adapted to Denver's presses. Yet, it was up to Downer's staff to make it work.
Initial results were inconsistent, with most of the coins too thick and many errors. The Philadelphia Mint sent out obverse dies made from a new hub and that helped considerably. As the Denver coining department staff gained experience, they successfully adapted the dies and edge collar device to their presses. Within a month production seemed to be moving along smoothly. Overall, use of a segmented edge collar to impart 46 (later 48) small stars on the coin's edge seems to have been easier to manage on the ten dollar coins than the twenties. With 210,000 pieces released for circulation of the 1908-D No Motto, along with a substantial double eagle production, it appears the Denver Mint had successfully adapted its presses to the new design.
In top grades, the 1908-D No Motto is scarce with few examples certified above MS63. Akers (1988) states that this is "one of the least attractive [issues], due largely to the fact that it is generally flatly struck on the obverse and is decidedly lacklustre." However, he goes on to state that there are a small number of exceptions, notably the Kruthoffer coin, that have frosted surfaces and are of superb quality. This piece is definitely one of the exceptions. The surfaces are bright and frosted with an accent of orange-gold color around the margin on the reverse. Strong granularity is also present over each side, as always. Surprisingly sharp for the issue with no obvious or mentionable abrasions. One of only 10 pieces so graded by both of the major services in MS66. A mere three pieces have been certified finer (all by NGC). The most recent sale of this date in MS66 was at the Heritage Central States Signature sale in April 2006, where that coin realized $86,250.
From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28GH, PCGS# 8854)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
3rd-6th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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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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