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Amazing MS68 1908-S Ten Dollar, Tied For Finest Known

1908-S $10 MS68 PCGS. The main attraction for collectors of the 1908-S eagle is the low mintage of only 59,850 pieces. Like its 1908-D Motto counterpart, the 1908-S is also available in a wide range of grade choices. Apparently quite a few were dropped into circulation at the time of issue, and one coin has been certified as low as Fine 12. On the other hand, quite a few high grade examples are also extant, with this coin tied with five others as the finest known. The key to understanding the availability of the 1908-S in high grades lies in a brief passage from Walter Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia: "Uncs are from 2 small hoards, one (of at least 20) found in the 1940s, the other (fewer, choice) from Europe in the 1970s." Apparently the coins in these hoards were of very high quality and constitute most of the high grade coins that are known today.
The extraordinary surfaces of most 1908-S tens is the second reason that this issue is a collector favorite. David Akers points out in his 1988 reference on 20th century gold: "...the 1908-S eagle comes with two very different, distinctive finishes. One is frosty and very finely granular, and on these specimens the luster is very good but not outstanding. The other finish (much more rare) is extremely satiny, and with these examples the luster is always exceptionally radiant." With such a selection of finishes, combined with a general lack of large abrasions on most 1908-S eagles, it is no wonder this issue is so popular with collectors. This particular coin is of the second variety, i.e., highly satiny with radiant surfaces. The only surface blemishes that serve to distinguish this coin from others are a tiny alloy speck in the left obverse field, a couple of small nicks on the right (facing) wing of the eagle, and a small mark to the left of the U in UNITED. For an issue that is known for its singular eye appeal, this is one of the finest examples known. As such, it presents the advanced gold collector with a seldom-offered opportunity. Population: 4 in 68, 0 finer (3/06).
Indian Eagle Selections from the Dr. Steven L. Duckor Collection.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 28GL, PCGS# 8861)

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Auction Dates
April, 2006
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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