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Charming MS66 1912 Eagle

1912 $10 MS66 PCGS. Though the edge design has not been considered a historical point of demarcation for the Saint-Gaudens eagle, it is interesting to contemplate the before-and-after aspects of the series from the vantage point of 1912, when two stars were added to the previously 46-star edge to symbolize newly added states Arizona and New Mexico. (New Mexico was admitted to the Union on January 6th of that year, while Arizona was added on February 14th. The lack of a 47-star collar, in addition to the 46-star collar's disuse in 1912, suggests that eagle coinage took place later in the year, after the Mint had time to prepare the new collar.)
Prior to 1912, total mintages for the denomination were consistently high (though individual facilities had slack output from time to time) and Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco all were active participants. The year 1912 marks the first time that Denver had not struck eagles since its opening in 1906, and Philadelphia and San Francisco would soon experience their own slowdowns, culminating in full stoppage for three years beginning with 1917. In this way, the 1912 acts as a turning-point for the fortunes of the design and the denomination.
That said, the 1912 itself is a comparatively available issue with a mintage of 405,000 circulation strikes, and enough coins have survived that there is a substantial available population in lower and slightly better Mint State grades. The Gem level, however, forces the would-be type collector to seek greener pastures, and only the most dedicated Saint-Gaudens eagle enthusiasts will pursue this issue at the conditionally rare Premium Gem level. For such collectors, the present example is quite the prize, with excellent peripheral striking definition and wonderfully lustrous yellow-gold and honey-gold surfaces that show rose and amber accents. A carefully preserved piece that displays beautifully and exhibits only a few trivial luster grazes on the reverse. Population: 9 in 66, 1 finer (11/08).
From The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 28GW, PCGS# 8871)

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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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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