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Stupendous Near-Gem 1911-D Ten Dollar
An Absolute and Condition Rarity

1911-D $10 MS64 NGC. The 1911-D is one of the few show-stoppers for those collecting Indian ten dollar gold pieces in Mint State condition. It is likely that the entire mintage of 1911-D eagles--the lowest in the series--was released into circulation. The NGC Census Report reveals that the 1911-D is the only Indian eagle issue that has not been graded above the MS64 level (7/08). In similar fashion, the PCGS Population Report indicates that the 1911-D is the only date in the series that has not been certified above the MS65 level, with the exception of the prohibitively rare 1933 ten. Stated differently, the 1911-D is undeniably the condition rarity in the series.
According to the Garrett-Guth reference (2006), David Akers considers the Norweb specimen to be the finest known 1911-D ten. Here's how that coin was described by Bowers & Merena when it crossed the auction block in March 1988:

"MS-65. A gem specimen of the lowest mintage issue in the Indian Head eagle series of the 1908 to 1933 With Motto style. Relatively few Uncirculated pieces are known, and of those that are known, few can match this. A splendid coin which should attract wide bidding attention. From B. Max Mehl on January 30, 1954."

The cataloger's suggestion that the Gem 1911-D "should attract wide bidding attention" was an understatement. It was the only coin in the sale--out of 1,269 lots--to break the six-figure price barrier when it realized $132,000; a staggering amount at that time. Ironically, the coin received little attention, being afforded a quarter page of space, whereas lesser lots received full page treatment.
While this coin is not quite of the same caliber as the Norweb specimen, it is as close as one could ever hope to get. The surfaces show coarse granularity and are overlaid with pleasing reddish-golden satiny luster that shows occasional accents of lilac. Well impressed for the issue with strong definition at the juncture of the eagle's wing and breast, which is usually found weak. The only mark of note is located just below Liberty's eye. An attractive, upper-end example of this rare, series-key issue in the ten dollar Indian series.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28GU, PCGS# 8869)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2008
30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 427

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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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