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Gleaming 1930-S Indian Eagle, MS64
A Key to the Series

1930-S $10 MS64 NGC. The two late-series mintmarked issues, the 1920-S and 1930-S, are the keys to the Indian Head, Type Two (With Motto) eagles, foundational rarities in all grades. Even well-circulated examples sell for prices in the high four digits, with Mint State examples well up into five-digit territory. Even though the original mintage was a skimpy 96,000 coins, most of the issue was melted in the Gold Recall of 1933, save for a few pieces that collectors apparently stashed away. Since the issue was produced so close to the gold recall, there are few circulated specimens known of the 1930-S. NGC has certified two coins in AU58, while PCGS adds seven more in the same grade. All the other coins certified at both services are MS60, with the majority averaging MS63 to MS64.
Both Walter Breen and David Akers before him mentioned the existence of a small hoard of 1930-S eagles. Breen wrote in his 1988 Complete Encyclopedia: "For some decades one 1930-S turned up in the San Francisco area every three years, probably from a single roll." Such a roll would, of course, have long since been completely absorbed into the numismatic marketplace. Akers updates this mention in his more recent Handbook.
The typical 1930-S is much better struck than an average 1920-S, but it may still show weakness on the Indian's hair under the headdress and on the eagle's hind leg. The present piece offers gleaming luster throughout, with yellow-gold and orange-gold areas predominating amid glints of deeper color in the headdress tips. Minor strike softness appears on the Y of LIBERTY, as often seen, and on the high points of eagle's trailing leg. Tiny ticks on the base of Liberty's neck, a couple on the cheek, and on the reverse high points, none significant, preclude an even finer grade. Census: 39 in 64, 19 finer (9/09).
From The Little Rock Collection.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 28HA, PCGS# 8883)

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Auction Dates
October, 2009
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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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