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Lustrous, Reddish-Tinged MS67 1908-S Ten Dollar

1908-S $10 MS67 PCGS. It was August before Edward Sweeney, Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint, reported, " ... a small run was made on eagles with the new design dies ... they stacked 0.025-inches higher than standard ... the dies were returned to Philadelphia and new dies furnished." The new dies were tested and they also produced coins that were too thick. Sweeney decided that with use the dies would wear slightly and eventually the coins would be within mint guidelines.
Engraver Charles Barber had also been busy stacking eagles and discovered that " ... the pieces are thinner on one part of the coin than on the other ... therefore the pile never measures twice the same." As Barber continued, he shifted responsibility for the coinage problems to Saint-Gaudens. "The many difficulties that we have had to contend with and the very unsatisfactory appearance of the coin ... should convince anyone that although a sculptor may have a reputation in his own line, he is a failure when taken out of it."
Only 59,850 eagles were released by the San Francisco Mint in 1908. All were from new dies that included the motto on the reverse, and the overall quality of these pieces is quite high. While the overall preservation of this coin is far above average, in many ways it also typifies the 1908-S ten. That is, most examples show exceptional mint luster and are either frosted and finely granular or satiny and radiant, as pointed out by Akers (1988). This coin is a frosted variant with the expected fine granularity on each side. Sharply struck throughout, the surfaces are nearly defect-free, and they show a pronounced reddish patina with only a slight hint of lilac present (visible with magnification). While the low mintage is one of the main drawing cards for this issue, specialists know the 1908-S is one of the best, if not the best produced of all ten Indians, and a coin of incomparable beauty in high grade. Only seven other pieces have been so graded by PCGS with three in MS67 by NGC, and seven finer at both services combined (10/06).
From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 28GL, PCGS# 8861)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
Bids + Registered 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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