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Description

1908 Gem Matte Proof Saint-Gaudens Eagle

1908 $10 Motto PR65 PCGS. This was a historic year for the U.S. Mint. It was the first year proofs were struck of the new Saint-Gaudens design, and it was also the first year the Mint used the new matte proofing process. The new designs were a big success with collectors of the day and have remained so over succeeding generations. However, the matte proofing process was less successful, and in fact, was generally disliked by contemporary collectors.
There were 116 proof tens struck in this year, and all but two 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, a significant number show nicks or scratches. Traditional sources state that somewhere between two and three dozen pieces exist today. However, we believe a slightly larger number are extant, somewhere in the range of 40-55 coins.
This is a near flawless rendering of Saint-Gaudens' design. Fully detailed in all areas, the matte surfaces show thousands of tiny sparkling facets that distribute light in a random manner rather than a uniformly reflective mirror as seen on earlier (and later) proof strikings. We really have not been able to locate any post-striking impairments on this coin, save for several of the eagle's highest feathers which exhibit slightly more brightness that the surrounding area. That is both good and bad. It is wonderful for the next owner; however, there is nothing the researcher or new owner can latch onto in order to trace the pedigree of this important matte proof Ten. It is also interesting to note, in this Palm Beach Florida Signature Sale, we are also offering the remaining three coins in the 1908 matte proof gold set in their respective categories.(#8890) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 268E, PCGS# 8890)

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Auction Dates
November, 2004
4th-6th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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Page Views: 800

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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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