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    Description

    1920-S Ten Dollar, MS62
    Heavily Melted Branch Mint Rarity
    A Major Series Key

    1920-S $10 MS62 PCGS Secure. If we consider the final-year 1933 ten dollar gold piece to be uncollectible, then the rarest potentially accessible key date in the Saint-Gaudens Indian Head eagle series is the 1920-S. Although the San Francisco Mint manufactured a healthy quantity of ten dollar gold coins in 1920, Bowers notes that it "is virtually a certainty that nearly all of the 126,500 pieces minted were held by Treasury Department and melted after 1933." He adds: "Relatively few must have seen actual distribution, either domestically or in international commerce. No hoards are known, not even small ones."

    No ten dollar gold coins had been struck at any mint facility since 1916. Production resumed four years later, but the timing was not exactly ideal. In 1920, the United States was going through a post-war recession, and there was little demand for these relatively large gold coins in commerce. So why were any eagles struck in 1920? Part of the reason is that by law, one-third of outstanding gold certificates had to be backed by gold coinage held in reserves. One of the main flaws of the Gold Standard was that it was not responsive to the needs of the American economy during the late-19th and early-20th centuries. This is a perfect example.

    Survival estimates for the 1920-S range from 110 to 145 pieces extant. Unsurprisingly, most known examples are in Uncirculated condition, and the few circulated pieces typically grade AU. Distribution across the various Mint State levels is fairly even, with MS62 being the grade with the most submissions at PCGS.

    As usual, the TY in LIBERTY and the eagle's legs and talons are softly defined, but detail is good on the lowest headdress feathers. Light yellow-gold surfaces are brightly frosted and appealing for the grade. An expected number of bagmarks are present on each side, one of which is in the shape of a star left of Liberty's forehead from direct contact with another ten dollar gold piece. One other noteworthy tick occurs on the cheek, but the obverse is generally smooth. Population: 9 in 62, 18 finer (6/18).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28H8, PCGS# 8881)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2018
    12th-15th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,529

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    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections
    Revised Edition by Roger Burdette, and edited by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles is an issue-by-issue examination of this 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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