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Gem 1930-S Ten Dollar
A Major Absolute and Condition Rarity

1930-S $10 MS65 NGC. The 1930-S has long been compared to the previous S-mint ten, the 1920-S. Other than both being series rarities, there is little similarity between the two. The 1920-S is a condition rarity, the 1930-S is almost always found in mint condition. The reason for the preponderance of Uncirculated coins was addressed in a Numismatic News article by Paul Green in 2006:

"It is less surprising that the 1930-S was also a heavily melted date. Coming a decade after the 1920-S, the 1930-S was probably part of a response to demand for gold that was surfacing as the Great Depression was starting to take hold of the nation. The 1930-S had a low 96,000-piece mintage. ... It appears, though, that there was relatively little circulation of the 1930-S. Most of the examples seen are Mint State. In fact, only three [today there are 10 circulated examples] of the 100 coins seen [today the total are 172] were called circulated, and all were AU-58 [today one AU53 is known], which suggests bad handling as much as extensive circulation.

"If anything, the 1930-S probably ended up in some of the small hoards at the time as some people, seeing the financial crisis of the time, turned to gold and hid what they had. That would have been especially likely in the West where distrust of paper had always been present. A coin that would have naturally made its way into the small hoards was the last San Francisco gold eagle, the 1930-S. The Mint State numbers also include a number of especially nice coins as the 1930-S seems to have been one Indian Head eagle that was reasonably well made and which avoided the problems found on other dates."

This indeed was a well-made coin. The mint frost has a distinctive reddish-gold tinge overall with faint lilac accents around the margins. When found the 1930-S is usually a heavily abraded issue, but this is a remarkably clean example (thus the Gem grade). An extreme rarity in Gem condition, only 14 other pieces have been so graded by NGC with two finer (11/11).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28HA, PCGS# 8883)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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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