One Of The Finest Known 1933 Eagles, MS65 PCGS1933 $10 MS65 PCGS. In an effort to help reverse the tide of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt issued Presidential Order 6260 in March 1933 halting the release of gold coins from the Mint. This Order created several noteworthy rarities in the 20th century gold series. Most notable among these are the 1933 eagle and the 1933 double eagle. While the latter issue is not believed to have been released before the president's declaration and, as such, is prohibitively rare (and considered by the Government to be illegal to own), 1933 Indian eagles are obtainable, albeit very scarce, and always realize strong prices whenever a survivor appears on the market.
Following its sizeable mintage of 4,463,000 pieces in 1932, the Philadelphia Mint opened 1933 with a respectable delivery of 312,500 eagles in January and February. A few of these coins, perhaps 30 to 40 pieces, were legally released through regular channels at that time. The aforementioned presidential order of March not only halted gold coin production, but prompted the Philadelphia Mint to melt all remaining 1933 eagles. Walter Breen, in his 1988 A Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, wrote that a small number of possibly 20 to 30 survivors, probably the majority of the coins issued, came to light in an east coast hoard circa 1952. Breen states: "I studied eight of them on a single tray in 1953: gem mint state beauties." A few more individual coins later turned up in French and Swiss banks. All known pieces are in Uncirculated grades.
We present below some of the recent auction appearances of the elusive 1933 eagle. The Eliasberg specimen was sold by Bowers and Ruddy in October 1982 (lot 873), where it was described as "Lustrous and frosty. One of the finest known examples of this issue." A specimen described as having "full frosty luster with a satiny surface" appeared in the Stack's October 1984 sale (lot 1377). The cataloger stated that this coin is "Unquestionably finer than the Eliasberg specimen sold in October 1982." In October 1989, Superior offered a piece described as "Lustrous and frosty" out of the Heifetz Collection (lot 5015). What appears, from a comparison of catalog photos, to be the same coin appeared again in the February 1991 Superior sale of the Mendelson Collection (lot 2903). A February 1992 Superior sale offered a specimen (lot 209) they said was "Identifiable by a small nick on the cheekbone, another at the jaw, a third on the front portion of the neck, and a final one to the left of the date." A Stack's October 1992 catalog described a 1933 eagle (lot 1279) as being "attractively frosty" with "Few, trivial bagmarks on Liberty's face." In the January 1996 sale of the Keston Collection, Superior presented "a lustrous coin featuring pinkish golden toning on frosty surfaces" and "small 'chatter' on the hair which covers the ear" (lot 194). In October 1996, Stack's offered a '33 eagle described as having "Full frosty luster with a satiny surface (lot 1592). David Akers' sale of the Thaine Price Collection included a piece he described as being "very sharply struck with very attractive and original medium orange and greenish-gold color" (lot 71). The 1933 ten dollar specimen that appeared in the March 2000 Superior sale (lot 1007) was described as being "Fully struck throughout, it also exhibits stunningly bright and frosty luster." The Browning coin appearing in Sotheby's/Stack's October 2001 sale (lot 599) was described as "An absolutely magnificent specimen. Both sides are a pleasing, original pale yellow color, with a few orangey hints." The 1933 example offered in Stack's January 2004 sale (lot 3032) was the same coin that appeared in Superior's October 1989 and February 1991 sales. Finally, a piece described as having "luxurious velvet-gold mint bloom" was sold by Stack's in its March 2005 sale (lot 1882).
The 1933 ten dollar Gem offered here from the Phillip Morse Collection exhibits frosty surfaces with dazzling luster and a melange of peach-gold and light green patina that yields an occasional glimpse of light pink. The design elements are sharply impressed, with the Indian's hair and headdress feathers and eagle's feathers displaying sharp definition in most areas. A few minute contact marks are located on the Indian's cheek and in the lower left (facing) obverse field. A small mark is also noted in the reverse field above the eagle's tail, and a miniscule planchet void is visible beneath the last A in AMERICA. Our inspection of catalog photos of previous 1933 eagle appearances indicates that this specimen is the same as that appearing in Superior's 1996 Keston Sale, as the location of the marks on each coin matches exactly. Population: 8 in 65, 0 finer (9/05).
From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.(#8885)(Registry values: N14284) (NGC ID# 28HC, PCGS# 8885)
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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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