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Superb Gem 1909 Indian Eagle

1909 $10 MS67 NGC. In his Complete Encyclopedia, Walter Breen said about this issue: "difficult to find in mint state." Just imagine what he would have said about this Superb Gem example! Indeed, this is an elusive issue in any and all grades. The mintage of 184,863 coins ranks 11th among the With Motto eagles, and even though mintage is not the whole story, this is an important consideration. Among the 1909 Indian eagles that we have handled over the years are two or three that graded MS66, but never before a Superb MS67. Just five examples are recorded on the combined population reports of both PCGS and NGC, however, we suspect that there may only be two or three coins involved, or possibly just this one.
In 1988, David Akers wrote A Handbook of 20th-Century United States Gold Coins where he discussed this issue: "The 1909 is one of the rarest Philadelphia Mint issues, surpassed only by the 1933, 1907 Rolled Edge and the 1908 No Motto. Up to the grade of MS-62, specimens are not too difficult to locate and even in MS-63 they are encountered fairly often. True gems (MS-65 quality) are another matter altogether and they are very rare. Better than MS-65, this issue is almost nonexistent, although there are a few, and one is more likely to find a superb 1908 No Motto or 1908-S, for example, than a similar quality specimen of the 1909. (There are more gems of the 1909 around than there are gems of those two issues, however). This is one of the most underrated issues of the series."
This Superb example, one of the finest extent, has rich honey-gold color with faint olive toning on the Indian's face and neck. The surfaces have a slightly grainy, satiny texture, not much at all different from the Proof issues of this date. The strike is exceptionally sharp. This is an excellent example of the date for the connoisseur, and may also be pursued by the collector who simply desires to own great coins. Population: 3 in 67, 0 finer (1/05).(#8862) (Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 28GM, PCGS# 8862)

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Auction Dates
February, 2005
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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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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