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Spectacular 1910-S Eagle, MS66

1910-S $10 MS66 PCGS. The 1910-S ten dollar started out with a large mintage of 811,000 pieces. However, unlike many ten and twenty dollar issues, the 1910-S did not sit around in bags in bank vaults. Almost all the production run appears to have been dropped into circulation. The population data shows what specialists have long known: the 1910-S is common in circulated grades, but it is scarce in mint condition. To be more specific, approximately 900 circulated pieces have been certified by PCGS and NGC. Every grade is represented from AU58 all the way down to AG3!
The situation changes dramatically when one looks up the grading ladder from MS60 to the finest coins at the MS66 level. There are nearly 700 pieces that have been certified in Uncirculated condition, and lower grade (60-63) coins are always available for a price. But the number thins out quickly above that level with only 32 pieces graded MS64. Above MS64 only three Gems have been certified and five graded MS66 by both services. The fact that more MS66s have been graded than MS65s does not mean that more examples are actually known than at the Gem level. This is simply a reflection of how many MS66 coins have been submitted in hopes of gaining an MS67 grade (a hope that is yet unrealized).
Long before population data was looked to for an indication of scarcity, David Akers wrote in 1988 of the 1910-S:

"Despite its high mintage, the 1910-S is a very rare coin in all Mint State grades. Occasionally a specimen in MS-63 or less is available, but it is a highly unusual occurrence when one better than that comes up for sale. In MS-64 condition, the issue is really very rare, and it is my opinion that only about six to eight true gems exist, if that many."

The 1910-S comes in both the satiny and frosted finish. Again, according to Akers "the few really top grade examples of this issue that I have seen have all been much more satiny than frosty." The Premium Gem being offered here has undeniably frosted surfaces with the usual fine-grain finish, which is seen to some degree on all tens from 1908 through 1916. This piece has lovely color. Both sides have a mixture of orange-gold and red-gold patina with a slight bit of lilac interspersed--an obvious sign of originality. The coin is nearly perfect in terms of preservation, with the only (vaguely) noticeable mark placed along the jawline of the Indian.
This is one of the finest if not the finest 1910-S eagles known. As such, it presents the collector with a rare (perhaps unique?) opportunity to acquire this condition rarity in the ultimate Uncirculated grade.
Ex: William Thomas Michaels Collection (Stack's, 1/04), lot 3014; The Kutasi Collection (Heritage Auction Galleries, 1/ 2007), lot 3172; the plate coin in The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Phillip Morse Collection, by James L. Halperin, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan.
From The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles.
See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 268D, PCGS# 8867)

View all of [The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens $10 Indians ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 890

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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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