Exquisite Premium Gem 1915 Ten1915 $10 MS66 PCGS. At the time, Philadelphia's production of gold coins in 1915 must have seemed unspectacular, but when examined in retrospect, that year marks the "beginning of the end" for that Mint and circulating gold coinage. Though the main facility struck all four business-strike denominations that year (quarter eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles), the presses fell silent, and save for two McKinley gold commemorative dollars in 1916 and 1917, Philadelphia did not strike another gold coin until 1920, when double eagles made their re-appearance. Quarter eagles and eagles did not return until 1926, and the half eagle was delayed until 1929, a short-lived reprise that seems a mere coda to that denomination.
Despite the slowing rates of international trade and the gradual disuse of gold coinage in everyday domestic transactions, enough pieces were shipped overseas and later repatriated that there are few obstacles to owning a 1915 eagle, should one not be too choosy about grade. As noted in The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse Collection, "Compared to other P-mints in the series, few dates are encountered with greater frequency. Only the 1910, 1912 and 1913 are comparable in less-than-Gem levels of preservation among the earlier dates, and of course, the 1926 and 1932 are more common in all grades."
The long journeys taken by most survivors were not kind to them. Many examples are Mint State, with coins grading Select and lower prevalent. At the Gem level, however, availability falls off the proverbial cliff, and should the collector seek a Premium Gem, such a coin represents an immense challenge; PCGS has graded only six examples at that level and only one piece finer (11/08). The charming coin offered here has immensely lustrous wheat-gold surfaces that show whispers of twinkling frost in the fields. The fine details of Liberty's hair are strong, and the carefully preserved portrait attracts considerable interest. Overall visual appeal is superb for this gorgeous and evocative Saint-Gaudens eagle.
From The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 28H5, PCGS# 8878)
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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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