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Description

Extraordinary 1909 Indian Eagle, PR67
Superb Gem Roman Finish Proof

1909 $10 PR67 NGC. Satiny luster and rich scenic orange surfaces are the characteristics of this Roman finish gold piece. As expected, the surfaces are pristine, and the eye appeal is extraordinary. The depth of the strike gives this piece a medallic appearance that will appeal to any connoisseur of American gold coinage.
There was a time shortly after these coins were minted that some collectors objected to them. They were accustomed to the earlier brilliant proof pieces and failed to understand that the Saint-Gaudens and Pratt designs were unsuited for a brilliant, mirrored finish. William Woodin, for example, wrote to Assistant Treasury Secretary Abram Piatt Andrew that the earlier (matte) finish was most acceptable, and that the new Roman finish was unacceptable. In his August 19, 1910 letter to Andrew, he wrote: "I am surprised at the statement that the dull finish of the gold proof coins was objected to by many collectors. If any collectors objected to this finish it was because they did not understand that the St. Gaudens [sic] designs are not adapted to the production of polished proofs. The present proofs of the St. Gaudens designs and of the Pratt designs are simply rotten. I know of no other word to express it."
Like most of the proof Indian eagles, few have survived in the highest grades. Just 74 proofs were struck, mostly in the lighter Roman finish, and about half survive today. In our own auctions since 1993, this example is only the second PR67 we have handled (two previous auctions offered a single coin), and only two other auction appearances grade higher than PR64. NGC and PCGS combined have certified 77 submissions with an average grade of 64.6. Census: 5 in 67, 1 finer (6/09).
From The Wisconsin Gold Type Set Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28HF, PCGS# 8891)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2009
31st-2nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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Page Views: 978

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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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