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Conditionally Elusive 1909 Indian Eagle, MS66

1909 $10 MS66 PCGS. The two new coin designs of 1907, by celebrated sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, were quite different from one another. His design for the ten dollar gold coin, as shown here, features a bust of Liberty facing left and wearing an Indian warbonnet. His other design, for the double eagle, has a standing, striding full figure of Liberty. As noted by Breen, in his Encyclopedia (1988): "For the new eagle design, Augustus St. Gaudens (in consultation with Pres. Theodore Roosevelt) decided to use not a standing figure but a head, feeling that the heroic effect of any standing figure, as chosen for the double eagle, would be lost in smaller diameter."
The business strike mintage of the 1909 Indian eagle was limited to only 184,789 pieces, the second-lowest total for a With Motto issue of this type from the Philadelphia Mint. This date is underrated in terms of rarity when compared to the better-known 1908-S, according to Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth (2006).
Richly frosted, this coin shows pleasing radiance that accents the crisply struck design elements. The color alternates between lime-green and rose across both sides. Surface marks are minimal, as expected for a Premium Gem. It is difficult for us to imagine a much more attractive representative of the issue. Both major grading services combined have certified only 12 coins at MS66, with a mere five pieces finer at MS67, as of March 2008. (Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 28GM, PCGS# 8862)

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Auction Dates
April, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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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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