"Normal Rim" 1907 With Periods Ten Dollar, MS651907 $10 Rolled Edge MS65 PCGS. The 1907 Rolled Edge ten dollar coins were struck with the intent to be circulated, unlike the earlier Wire Rim coins. The original mintage of these coins is not specifically known, however, Mint records and correspondence indicate that 31,500 examples were struck; however, nearly all of these were melted. The exact number of survivors is also not known with certainty, although it was certainly a very small quantity. Most references provide the surviving quantity as a mere 42 coins. Recently, Roger Burdette gave a revised figure of 50 coins. Of course, either figure gives a good indication of the true rarity of these coins.
The same figure of 50 coins is sometimes quoted as the number of "Proof" examples of this issue produced on the medal press at the Mint, rather than the normal high-speed production presses. Regarding the existence of proof examples, Burdette commented: "All Normal Rim [Rolled Edge] pieces were struck on production presses. There are not deliberate 'Proofs" - Sandblast, Satin, Brilliant, or anything else - of these coins. Some specimens were better struck than others, and some are better preserved than others, but that is virtually all that differentiates one knife rim eagle from another." Mr. Burdette has also renamed these coins the "Normal Rim" coins, suggesting that the actual obverse and reverse rims are essentially the same as later production issues. According to the May 31, 2004 Coin World article, Burdette is the author of a soon to be published book titled Renaissance of American Coinage, 1905-1908, which we are looking forward to reading once it is released.
President Theodore Roosevelt was very unhappy with the appearance of the national coinage, and once elected to the Oval Office, was able to do something about it. He contacted Augustus Saint-Gaudens as well as Bela Lyon Pratt, and between the two engravers had an entirely new set of coinage designs prepared for all four gold denominations then in production. In his Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, Walter Breen discussed the Saint-Gaudens design: "At President Roosevelt's insistence, and for no other reason, St. Gaudens gave this head a nationalistic character by the absurd addition of a feathered warbonnet, such as neither Ms. Liberty nor any Native American woman would ever have worn. And so this new design acquired the misleading sobriquet of 'Indian Head,' properly applicable only to Pratt's 1908-29 half eagles and quarter eagles. Possibly the warbonnet also served to conceal any connection with the Sherman monument, to minimize protests in the South."
Fully brilliant light yellow-gold with splashes of lemon-yellow toning on both obverse and reverse. Sharp design elements are present on both obverse and reverse with only slight softness at the very center of the obverse. This is an exceptional Gem quality specimen of this very important issue. Like the Wire Edge specimen, this example has numerous die polishing lines in the field, imparting the satiny luster that is present. When caught in just the right light, and with magnification, some faint streaks of lighter toning are visible at the lower obverse. A tiny spot in the field slightly southwest of Liberty's throat will serve as a pedigree marker for future numismatists.
From The John Michael Stuart Collection, Part Two.(#8851) (Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 268C, PCGS# 8851)
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