1930-S Eagle, Elusive MS65
1930-S $10 MS65 PCGS. After striking the 1920-S eagles, the
San Francisco Mint went a full decade before producing the 1930-S
issue, the last mintmarked member of the Indian Head eagles.
Seldom Seen So Fine
The original mintage was small; the survival was far smaller yet.
Only 96,000 examples of the 1930-S eagle were struck off. Most of those coins never saw circulation. The horrid Great Depression had descended over the American economy the year before, its harbinger the precipitous stock market crash of October 1929. Ten dollars was a great deal of money when millions of Americans were hoping for a job and scrounging just to make ends meet.
Although some few survivors of the issue show evidence of light circulation, the overwhelming majority of the couple of hundred examples extant today are in the lower Mint State grades. PCGS currently shows 95 submissions of the 1930-S in all grades, with one in AU53, seven in AU58. The Mint State examples at PCGS form a tight cluster in the MS61 through MS64 grades. Gems are rare, and anything finer will require long and diligent searching, as the few different coins existing in those grades appear to be in quite strong hands.
The sole finest 1930-S eagle at PCGS is the MS67 ex: Dr. Steven Duckor-Jim O'Neal coin, a piece that we offered in our FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3529, which realized a strong $299,000. PCGS shows only five submissions in MS66, and it has been nearly five years since we have offered an MS66 PCGS coin. The last such was in our Baltimore Signature (Heritage, 3/2009), lot 3195, the former Henry Chapman-Floyd Starr coin, which garnered $92,000.
Given the infrequency of appearances of Premium Gem or finer coins, we suspect that this PCGS-certified Gem 1930-S will incite spirited bidding when it comes to auction. Generous luster runs over both sides of this piece, which shows prevailing reddish-orange surface color tinged by glints of lilac in the fields and the high points of each side. Contact marks are negligible, although the few tiny marks on the cheek account for the grade. Some strike softness on the hair curls over Liberty's brow are as expected on the issue. Population: 15 in 65 (1 in 65+), 5 finer (12/13).
From Christopher Bently's Nob Hill Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 28HA, PCGS# 8883)
Weight: 16.72 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
View all of [Christopher Bently's Nob Hill Collection ]
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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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