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    1913-S Ten Dollar, MS66, A Premier Rarity in the Ten Dollar Indian Series

    1913-S $10 MS66 PCGS. The first two sentences from the Garrett-Guth Gold Encyclopedia tell the story of high grade 1913-S eagles: "The 1913-S eagle was once the undisputed key to the series. Since the advent of certification, however, this premier condition rarity has been nudged out of top place by the 1911-D issue." For most collectors of this series, the issue of which issue is rarer is comparable to debating about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. High grade examples are so rare of both that mind-boggling prices have been realized at public auction in recent years. As long ago as 1989, an MS65 brought $198,000. The last time an MS66 was sold was in 2000 in a Bowers sale, and that coin realized $71,300. Pricing data is obviously scarce and difficult for this rarely seen issue; however, a pair of MS67 coins (the only two certified MS67 examples) brought $200,000 and $143,750 via a Heritage private sale (2005) and Stack's (1/2004) auction respectively.
    Only 66,000 pieces were produced of the 1913-S and apparently a substantial percentage of that mintage was dropped into circulation as most of the coins known today are in VF to Choice AU condition. Lower-end Uncirculated coins are challenging in the absolute sense with only 100 or so pieces extant today in the MS60-62 grade range. A mere 24 coins have been certified in MS63, and this slight number gives one a sense of the rarity of the 1913-S in even higher grades. Such pieces are rarely seen, and when they available they are highlight coins in whatever auction in which they are offered.
    The present specimen was formerly one of two NGC coins graded MS67 maintained in the current population reports and which was last sold by Heritage to John Kutasi via the above-mentioned private sale for $200,000 in April 2005. It is now the sole MS66 example graded by PCGS. It is also important to note that this date was conspicuously absent in Gem grades from other notable ten dollar Indian collections such as Price, Duckor, and Kruthoffer, which had MS63 examples of this key date.
    The surfaces show a lovely overlay of light orange-gold color with a mixture of lilac on the reverse. Each side is evenly covered with matte-like granularity with an overlay of soft, frosted mint luster. The only mark of note is a short, shallow check-mark near the rim at 7 o'clock on the obverse.
    Once again quoting from the Garrett-Guth reference: "Any Indian Head eagle collection would be truly defined by the presence of both a 1913-S and a 1911-D issue." This is a colossal ten dollar Indian whose condition would be noteworthy even if it were dated 1932. The fact it is one of the rarest and most famous issues of this popular series will make this a coin that will be remembered for many years to come.
    Used as the plate coin in The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Phillip Morse Collection.
    From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 28GZ, PCGS# 8874)

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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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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