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Description

Gem Matte Proof 1914 Ten Dollar

1914 $10 PR65 NGC. After a few early attempts to modify the new matte finish of 1907-1908 to pacify collectors accustomed to brilliant gold proofs, the Mint abandoned that strategy--which had produced the much-maligned "Roman gold" finish and pleased almost nobody--and catered to the knowledgeable collectors who understood the Mint's decision to "go matte" for the daring modern designs of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Bela Lyon Pratt.
One of the strongest collector champions of the matte proof finish was future Treasury Secretary William Woodin, who wrote in a private later dated August 25, 1910 and reprinted in Roger W. Burdette's Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908:

"...it seems to me that the difference between the [matte] proofs and the proofs that are now issued is so great and so obviously in favor of the dull proof coins, that I should think the Mint Dept. would be justified in making them, as certainly the most artistic results are desired for coins of this class that go into the hands of collectors."


Deep orange-gold surfaces are overtly granular on this late-date Saint-Gaudens eagle specimen, which shows a few tiny flecks of copper color in the left obverse field. The detail on the central devices is as precise as any collector will see it, and there are only a few trifling disturbances to the overarching matte texture, again at the left obverse. An elegant coin of sophisticated beauty.
From The Henry Miller Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26YE, PCGS# 8896)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
5th-9th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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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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