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Description

1908 Matte Proof Ten, PR67
Seemingly Perfect Surfaces

1908 $10 Motto PR67 NGC. The 1908 is the first year of the new matte proofing process. It appears that three different finishes were tried, at least experimentally, but the coins shipped to collectors that year were all of the dark, matte finish. There were 116 proof tens struck this year, but the number of unimpaired examples such as this one is a low number indeed. The mintage itself is not even reliable as an unknown number were melted as unsold in 1917, according to Walter Breen. Numerous pieces were also nicked or scuffed in the intervening decades, the scuffs showing as shiny spots on the matte finish. The result is probably between 40 and 55 individual coins are believed known today.
In addition to its collectibility as the first year of the new Saint-Gaudens type, the 1908 is often considered by specialists to be the most available of the six matte proof issues (setting aside the two Roman Gold years). But this so-called availability does not translate into any significant number of coins. It is merely a way of saying one year is rare and another rarer still. Only 10 other pieces have been certified by NGC at this level with two finer (3/10).
There is little to comment on regarding the surfaces of this coin. They are, simply put, magnificent. We see no shiny spots or interruption in the facets on the matte surface on either side. It would, in fact, be almost impossible to trace the pedigree of this coin as there are no imperfections that we can see, no variation in color, or planchet flaws. It would be interesting and instructive to place this coin side-by-side with one of the two PR68 pieces, cover the grade, and see if informed collectors and dealers could tell the two apart.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 2AME, PCGS# 8890)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2010
28th-2nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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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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