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NGC 1915 PR 66. Proof eagles of 1915 are almost as rare as those of 1912. Only 75 pieces were struck and it has been variously estimated that between 10 and 15 coins exist today. Breen (1977) notes that the issue is "extremely rare and that just a few survive. Many are rumored to have been melted in 1916-17." Akers only recorded 11 appearances at public auction during the decades he surveyed for his work on this series. We believe the number of survivors to be just a bit higher, in the range of 20-25 pieces.
The texture of the matte surfaces in 1915 is very similar to that in 1914. This piece differs, however, in the color and overall beauty of the respective coins. This specimen shows a pronounced greenish tint, most especially noticeable within the recesses of the design, with a light orange-gold color overall. The only post-striking impairments we have found are: a small mark on the upper obverse between stars 10 and 11, another very shallow one on the cheek of Liberty, and a couple of minor shiny spots on the back of the jawline of Liberty. We notice only two tiny alloy spots, one in the left obverse field, and the other behind the eye of the Liberty. But we hasten to point out that all these small blemishes are very minor and really are the only things that stand between the coin as it is and technical perfection, they are all very small and most will require strong magnification to see.
Of the meager ten coins that have been certified by both major services in all grades (6/94), this lovely specimen is only exceeded in grade by one coin, an NGC Proof 67, making this the second finest certified and very likely second finest known. Thus ends this stunning run of matte proof eagles. It has been ten years since such a set has been offered at public auction and it may well be that another decade will pass until another similar opportunity will present itself. (NGC ID# 28HJ, PCGS# 8897)
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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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