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Important 1908 Choice Matte Proof Ten Dollar Coin1908 $10 Motto PR64 NGC. In addition to being the first year the mint employed the matte proofing process for gold coins, 1908 was also the first year the inspired Saint-Gaudens' design for the Ten Dollar gold piece was produced in the proof format. When first struck the previous year and in the first half of 1908, Ten and Twenty Dollar gold pieces lacked the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. This was omitted as President Roosevelt, who wished to make a break with many traditions of the past. Although Roosevelt was a deeply religious man, he ordered the motto removed. Congress, however, had to bow to public demands to include the motto, and in the latter half of 1908 it was added again to Ten and Twenty Dollar gold coins and all proof Tens of 1908 display the motto.
There were 116 proofs struck in this year, all but two of which have the distinctive dark finish, between a khaki and olive color. It is widely recognized that the 1908 is the most "common" date among the series of matte proof Ten Indians. However, the number extant is not as large as one might at first believe. Not only did attrition take a heavy toll on this date, but the widespread distribution among non-collectors caused many of the surviving proofs of this date to be impaired, showing nicks, scratches, or shiny spots. Traditional sources state that somewhere between two and three dozen pieces exist today. However, we believe a larger number are extant, somewhere in the range of 40-55 coins.
This is a wonderful rendering of Saint-Gaudens' design. The surfaces have the distinctive coarse grain matte finish unique to 1908, and there are no readily apparent post-striking impairments on either side. Close examination with a loupe reveals a thin scratch from the rim at 7 o'clock about halfway to the 1 of the date. This is mentioned only as a future identifier. An extraordinary and important matte proof gold coin.(#8890) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 2AME, PCGS# 8890)
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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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