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Scarce, High Grade 1909-D Ten Dollar, MS66
1909-D $10 MS66 PCGS. Ex: O'Neal. Breen-7109. The 1909-D is
one of the scarcer issues among early ten dollar Indians, and is
much more challenging than its mintage of 121,540 pieces would seem
to indicate. David Akers contends in A Handbook of 20th-Century
United States Gold Coins that it is one of the most underrated
issues in the series, and is actually one of the rarest in an
absolute sense. "Even in MS60 this issue is very rare and in MS63
or MS64 condition, it can be located only with great difficulty,"
Ex: Morse, O'Neal
In Gem and better condition the 1909-D is extremely rare. PCGS and NGC combined have certified only eight examples in MS65. Another eight coins have earned the Premium Gem level of preservation, and a mere three pieces are classified as MS67. Neither service has certified any specimen finer. Moreover, our records indicate that the '09-D in these higher Mint State grades has appeared in major auction sales fewer than 20 times within the past 15 to 20 years.
In his May 1998 catalog of the Thaine Price Collection, Akers writes that a number of 1909-D ten dollar coins that were not previously known to the numismatic community have come onto the market in recent years. He goes on to say that most of these are of minimal Uncirculated quality, with only a few even reaching the Choice level.
Walter Breen, in his 1988 Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, identifies two variants of the D mintmark on the 1909. The first variety has a broad D opposite the arrow points, and parallel with the upright of the T in TEN. The second variety has the mintmark below the arrow points. Breen says this was an intentional change in position to give a less cramped effect. According to Breen, the first variety is scarcer in Uncirculated grades than is the second variety.
The current MS66 coin has a satiny appearance, and yields pleasing glowing luster and evenly distributed honey-gold color. The design elements are sharply impressed, with resultant excellent definition in the feathers on the headdress and on the eagle. The mintmark is located opposite the arrow points and is broad, confirming the Breen-7109 variety. The surfaces on both sides are well preserved, and display just a couple of minute marks on the Indian's cheek, and another in the right (facing) reverse field. A small planchet void is located below and to the right of IN GOD WE TRUST, and will serve, along with the previously mentioned unobtrusive contact marks, as a pedigree identifier. Population: 5 in 66, 2 finer (11/09).
Ex: Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage (Heritage Auction Galleries, 11/2005), lot 6506; The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3509.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28GN, PCGS# 8863)
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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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