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    1933 Ten Dollar, MS65
    A World-Class Rarity

    1933 $10 MS65 NGC. The accepted mintage figure for the 1933 gold eagles is 312,500 coins, as published in the Guide Book and various other sources. While that is accurate as far as it goes, it is only half of the story. Nearly all of the original production was melted shortly after the coins were manufactured, due to the Gold Recall of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The 1933 U.S. coinage portrait is an unusual one at any rate, in that the only coin denominations produced were Lincoln cents, in Philadelphia and Denver (the latter also making an Oregon Trail half dollar); the Walking Liberty half dollar, in San Francisco only; and the two gold issues, only in Philadelphia. (Was the U.S. Mint purposely providing Depression-era "make-work" assignments for some employees at each facility?)

    The 1933 eagles are the only U.S. gold coins bearing that date that are legal to own, save for the single celebrated King Farouk 1933 double eagle that was legally "monetized" and sold for $7,590,020 in July 2002.

    The year 1933 opened normally at the Philadelphia Mint, although the country was in the depths of the Great Depression. The Mint's production of the year's eagles totaled 312,500 pieces in January and February. Although for many years it was thought that perhaps two dozen of those coins were released in the normal order of business, it is now believed that from 30 to 40 specimens escaped in this way. Presidential Order 6260, issued in March, officially halted the release of gold coins from the Mint.

    All known examples of the 1933 ten dollar are Uncirculated -- but Gem examples such as the present specimen are quite rare. Mike Fuljenz writes in Indian Gold Coins of the 20th Century concerning the 1933 eagles:

    "For some reason, this date is usually seen with scattered deep marks. The typical 1933 may not have as many abrasions as on the typical 1932 but the marks seen on the 1933 are often located on the prime focal points and they can be fairly detracting. More often than not, the marks are located on the obverse and on a few pieces they are positioned squarely on the jaw or cheek of the Indian."

    Acquisition of any 1933 eagle has been considered a badge of accomplishment, one of the coins that separate great collections from world-class ones. The Kutasi and O'Neal-Morse collection specimens were MS65 PCGS examples. The current Condition Census for the 1933 eagle includes a single MS66 at NGC, with four MS65 coins (one of which is an MS65 ). The PCGS population shows eight pieces in MS65, three of which are Plus-graded, and a single MS66, the finest at that service; as usual, the probability of duplications must be factored into all of these totals. The certainty of duplications is also present in the total graded at both services combined, 35 coins. A detailed roster of some of the finest known examples can be found in our Permanent Auction Archives.

    The present Gem specimen displays bright, satiny luster that complements an uncommonly bold strike on both sides, the chief hallmarks of this simply spectacular coin. Note how well-defined the headdress feathers are, all the way to their tips (save for a couple of the lowest ones), and observe the fine plumage details throughout the eagle's wings. The 933 in the date is fully struck, while minor softness occurs on the 1. The predominant coloration is yellow-gold, with a slight accent of reddish patina perceptible on each side. Fortunately, this coin has escaped any overly distracting marks, although some small signs of contact appear below the ear and on the chin area. The superior strike and attractive satiny luster more than compensate.
    From The Las Vegas Collection, Part Two / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5237, where it sold for $359,375.(Registry values: N14284)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28HC, PCGS# 8885)

    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
    April, 2020
    23rd-26th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 45
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,151

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    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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