Stunning 1913-S Ten Dollar, MS661913-S $10 MS66 PCGS. Only 66,000 pieces were produced of the 1913-S, and apparently a substantial percentage of that mintage was dropped into circulation, as most of the coins known today are in Very Fine to Choice AU condition. Lower-end Uncirculated coins are challenging in the absolute sense with only about 140 or so pieces certified by PCGS and NGC in the MS60-62 grade range. Only 26 coins have been certified in MS63, and the same number in near-Gem.
The two services have graded a mere three MS65 specimens, one Premium Gem, and two Superb Gems. This small number gives one a sense of the rarity of the 1913-S in the higher Mint State levels. Such pieces are rarely seen, and when they available they are highlight coins in whichever auction they are offered.
Gold specialist David Akers comments on the rarity of the 1913-S in his May 19, 1998 catalog of the Dr. Thaine B. Price collection:
"In any Mint State grade, the 1913-S eagle is a rare issue, and since most of the known Uncirculated examples grade below Choice Uncirculated, the 1913-S is one of the great condition rarities of the series. Even in Choice Uncirculated condition ... the 1913-S is very rare, and no more than a handful of examples are known in that grade as high as Very Choice or Gem Uncirculated. Almost every great collection of Indian Head Ten Dollar gold pieces has failed to have an exceptional example of the 1913-S, and a strong case could be made that not only is this one of the premier condition rarities of the series, it is actually the number one rarity of the series in high grade, i.e., in Choice Uncirculated and higher."
The surfaces of the current Premium Gem offering show a lovely overlay of light orange-gold color imbued with traces of light green, along with a hint of lilac on the reverse. Both sides are evenly covered with matte-like granularity and with phenomenal soft, frosted mint luster, and a well executed strike leaves excellent definition on the design elements. Impeccably preserved surfaces enhance the coin's overall eye appeal. For identification purposes, we mention an inoffensive minute mark near the rim at 7 o'clock on the obverse, and a couple of ticks beneath NIT of UNITED.
This is a colossal ten dollar Indian whose condition would be noteworthy even if it were dated 1932. The fact that it is one of the rarest and most famous issues of this popular series will make this a coin that will be remembered for many years to come, and one that will be cherished by the new owner.
Used as the plate coin in the 2006 The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Phillip Morse Collection, by James L. Halperin, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, Gregory J. Rohan.
Ex: The Kutasi Collection (Heritage Auction Galleries, 1/2007), lot 3179.
From The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles.
See: Video Lot Description(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 28GZ, PCGS# 8874)
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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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