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Splendid Gem 1916-S Indian Head Eagle

1916-S $10 MS65 PCGS. Ex: Duckor Collection. The 1916-S eagle has a comparatively low mintage of 138,500 pieces. Most of the known examples are either lightly circulated or in lower Mint State grades, as the '16-S did not actually circulate to any great degree. Thirty or forty years ago, nice Uncirculated examples of this date simply were not available. In the late 1970s, a couple of small hoards were discovered, including one in Beverly Hills, California, that possibly yielded as many as 125 pieces. This, in turn, boosted the overall population of the 1916-S ten. As a result, this date is no longer considered rare, but it is still very scarce in the finer grades of Uncirculated. The scarcity of the 1916-S is borne out by studying the current population figures from both services. By far, most certified examples fall into the AU55 to MS62 grade range. Fewer than 100 Select examples are known, less than 50 Choice pieces have been graded, and approximately 20 Gem and finer specimens have been certified.
Most 1916-S tens are noticeably abraded, leading to grade restrictions of MS62 or so. Survivors typically are seen sharply struck, although definition is often lacking on the eagle's upper wingtip. Some specimens exhibit somewhat muted luster - especially when compared to many other dates in the Indian ten dollar series. These are usually coins that can be traced to the discovery hoards of the 1970s. Other (non-hoard) coins have brighter luster and a typical greenish-gold or orange-gold appearance. This coin has the attributes of a non-hoard coin, with bright red-orange color and extremely bright, satiny luster. Well defined throughout, a few minor abrasions have collected on each side. These, however, are entirely consistent with the assigned Gem grade. Unlike many 1916-S eagles, there is none of the characteristic weakness on the 1 and right side of the 9 in the date. As an identifier, a tiny raised die dot shows below star 4. Population: 8 in 65, 7 finer (11/07). (Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 28H7, PCGS# 8880)

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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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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