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Description

Exquisite 1915-S Gem Ten Dollar

1915-S $10 MS65 NGC. The low-mintage 1915-S (59,000 pieces) is one of the key dates to the Indian Head ten dollar gold series. It appears that many of these coins were placed into circulation at their time of issue, as the majority of known survivors are in the Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated grade range. Most of the '15-S eagles were apparently melted, as discussed by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth, in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, 1795-1933:

"Not only was this a low-mintage date, but few survivors made it from San Francisco to the Eastern banks where they could escape to Europe to wait out the first half of the 20th century. Most ended up being melted during the 1930s and returned as gold bricks to Fort Knox."

Two hundred or so 1915-S ten dollar pieces are thought to exist today in the various grades of Mint State. This estimate is more or less in concert with the certified population data that show NGC and PCGS having graded about 235 Uncirculated specimens, some of which are likely resubmissions. Approximately 30 near-Gems have been seen, fewer than 10 MS65 coins, and less than five pieces finer.
In the new Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Philip H. Morse Collection (2006), the authors say:

"One of the better-known 1915-S tens is a PCGS MS65. While not the highest graded, it has been part of three of the finest collections of ten Indians ever assembled: Thaine Price, William Thomas Michaels, and John Kutasi. This particular coin has exceptional mint luster and rich yellow-gold color with noticeably granular surfaces, which is unlike the finish seen on many 1915-S tens."

The MS65 specimen in this lot displays gorgeous apricot-gold color laced with whispers of mint-green, along with pleasing luster that radiates from finely granular surfaces. A well-executed strike brings out excellent definition on the design elements, including the Indian's hair, the feathers in the headdress, and most of the eagle's plumage. The trailing claw and adjacent branch are a trifle soft, as is always the case on this issue. The only pedigree identifiers are a faint line under stars 2 and 3, a couple of minute marks on the cheekbone, and a light copper spot above the right (left facing) wing.
From The Belle Glade Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28H6, PCGS# 8879)

View all of [The Belle Glade Collection, Part Two ]

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
August, 2007
8th-12th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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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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