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    1933 Indian Eagle, MS65
    The Fabled Final-Year Indian Ten
    Historically Significant Melt Rarity

    1933 $10 MS65 PCGS. CAC. There are many key dates in 20th century gold series, but while some are the result of low mintage figures and high attrition, there are a few which are rare for the sole reason that they were almost completely obliterated by the stroke of pen. The gold confiscation order of April 5, 1933, officially known as President Roosevelt's Executive Order 6102, was one of the most destructive acts of the United States government in regards to American numismatics, comparable to the Pittman Act of 1918, which brought about the mass melting of more than 270 million silver dollars. The gold confiscation order mandated, with a few exceptions, the surrender of all privately owned "gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates," which were in turn destroyed. Older Liberty Head issues and other dates considered to be of special numismatic value were exempt from the confiscation, per the order's limited allowances, but recently coined five, ten, and twenty dollar issues residing in government vaults as backing for the various gold certificates then in circulation were among the first to be destroyed. Writing in 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, third edition, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth state:

    "Gold coinage had been produced on a nearly uninterrupted basis since 1795, though there were long periods of time, including 1821 to 1834 and 1861 to 1878, when gold coins were not seen in general circulation. Thus, 1933 became the last year for nearly 50 years that gold coins were produced in the United States."

    The 1933 eagle is awarded the status of being the only gold issue of this date that even the most patient and well-funded collectors are currently able to obtain. Moreover, unlike the double eagle, which according to the government was never officially released in any quantity to the public, the legality of owning an example has never been questioned.

    With nearly all of its 312,500 coin mintage destroyed before leaving the Mint, the 1933 eagle's rarity was recognized almost immediately by collectors, and the value of surviving examples soared in comparison to that of earlier key dates in the series. The first auction appearances for the issue were as early as the mid-1940s, with examples bringing hundreds of dollars apiece. In the late 1950s and 1960s, numismatists had a better grasp on just how few pieces were in the marketplace, and the auction prices realized started climbing into the thousands of dollars. Garrett and Guth write:

    "It is estimated that only 25 to 30 examples are known today. Most are in Mint condition and were surely obtained directly from the Mint."

    In the past two decades, we have offered only seven different examples of this incredible melt rarity, with the coins making a collective total of just 10 auction appearances in our archives. The most recent piece we handled was an MS64+ PCGS coin which realized $402,500 in our 2012 FUN Signature sale. The current Gem example is decidedly superior to that coin in terms of both technical and aesthetic merit. It was listed in the 1986 Einstein catalog as "MS-63 or better. ... one of the finest known examples of this historic issue." David Akers evidently considered the MS63 level to be a little harsh, writing shortly after the sale that the coin was "very close" to Gem quality. However, even Akers was a tad conservative in his evaluation of this magnificent piece, as it is now certified in a green label PCGS holder as a full MS65, with a green CAC label confirming the coveted level of preservation. The only mentionable abrasion -- and likely the cause for its lower early grade estimations -- is a small diagonal mark on Liberty's neck, which is not distracting but is helpful as a pedigree identifier. The surfaces display softly frosted, near-satin luster, with honey and green-gold hues intermingled over each side. The strike is bold and the eye appeal is fully gratifying.

    The 1933 Indian eagle stands above its peers on levels of rarity, popularity, artistic beauty, and historical importance. We anticipate intense collector interest in this stellar example of one of the greatest gold rarities of the 20th century.
    Ex: Harry Einstein Collection (Bowers and Merena, 6/1986), lot 513.
    From The New Orleans Collection.(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.

    View all of [The New Orleans Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,853

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) 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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