Pleasing 1907 Wire Rim Indian Head Eagle, MS63
1907 $10 Wire Rim MS63 NGC. Traditionally regarded as a
pattern issue (Judd-1774), but also adopted by mainstream 20th
century gold collectors, the 1907 Wire Rim Indian Head eagle enjoys
popularity with collectors of many disciplines. According to
research by Roger Burdette, a total of 542 Wire Rim Indian Head
eagles was minted in 1907, but not all specimens were released at
the time. Examples were initially given out to dignitaries and
government officials, then sold at face value to museums and
collectors, distributed as political favors, and finally sold to
coin dealers at $15 per coin. A group of 70 specimens that remained
unsold in 1915 was melted at the Mint, leaving the final
distribution at 472 pieces. The date is coveted by
first-year-of-issue collectors and pattern specialists, as well as
20th century gold aficionados.
The coins proved popular with collectors, and dealers began to offer specimens in their auction catalogs at an early date. Henry Chapman seems to have been particularly active in the distribution of this issue, and appearances in his catalogs were frequent. In the John Story Jenks Collection (Henry Chapman, 12/1921), lot 5739, Chapman reported:
"1907. St. Gaudens design. Head of Liberty with chaplet of feathers, LIBERTY on band, 13 stars above, 1907 beneath. R. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA . TEN . DOLLARS . Defiant eagle standing to the left, on the ground, olive branch under right talon, in field behind him . E . PLURIBUS . UNUM . Edge stars. Border flat with slight wire edge. Uncirculated. Only 500 coined."
It is instructive to note Chapman gave an extremely detailed description of the coin, the kind of description usually reserved for patterns in numismatic literature of the early 20th century.
The present coin is an attractive example, with the characteristic swirling die polish lines in the fields and the slight softness always seen on the design elements. A few light contact marks are present on Liberty's head and a small copper spot is visible on the upper headdress. These insignificant blemishes, together with a mark on the reverse below UNUM account for the grade.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 8850)
Weight: 16.72 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
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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.
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