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Noteworthy 1930-S Indian Eagle, MS64

1930-S $10 MS64 PCGS. The appearance of any 1930-S eagle at auction is a noteworthy event in numismatic circles, as it is an issue that was rare on the day it was made, and as the saying goes, "Time increases its fame." The history of the 1930-S actually begins with the 1926, an issue made in such a large quantity, exceeding 1 million pieces, that there was apparently no need for more until the 1930-S. And even then, the paltry mintage was only 96,000 coins, in the year after the great stock market crash of October 1929 ushered in the Great Depression.
Like so many of the late-date Saint-Gaudens twenties and tens, the 1930-S was never released in any substantial way. David Akers writes in the second edition of his Handbook:

"Very few of the 96,000 pieces struck left the Mint prior to President Franklin Roosevelt's issuance of the Gold Recall Act in 1933. Those examples still on hand, which amounted to the majority of the original mintage, were destroyed. A small number of coins did manage to escape this fate and, since they are almost all Mint State, the survivors were probably obtained directly from the Mint."

Garrett and Guth in the second edition of their Gold Encyclopedia rather overstate the survival when they write, "In overall terms of rarity, this date ranks a little behind the 1920-S, with just a few hundred known in all, and those are scattered across the grading spectrum." Given the total certified population at PCGS and NGC combined is 173 submissions -- the vast majority in Mint State, and clustered at the MS64 grade level -- we suspect that the true survival could be as few as 100 different examples.
The surfaces on each side of this near-Gem show rich, flowing mint luster throughout orange-gold surfaces, with the grade limited chiefly by a couple of nicks on Liberty's chin and the cheek nearby. The strike is fairly well executed, save for minor softness on some of the curls over the forehead, and the 19 is curiously weak compared to the 30 in the date, a phenomenon we have noticed before on this issue. The mintmark and strike are bold on the reverse, which also shows a few scattered signs of contact consistent with the grade. Population: 40 in 64, 20 finer (9/11).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 28HA, PCGS# 8883)

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Auction Dates
November, 2011
8th-10th Tuesday-Thursday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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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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