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    Description

    1907 Wire Rim Ten, MS64+
    The Intended Saint-Gaudens Design

    1907 $10 Wire Rim MS64+ PCGS Secure. CAC. The 1907 Wire Rim Indian eagle is avidly collected by series specialists and pattern collectors alike as the only available issue that shows Augustus Saint-Gaudens' original design for the ten dollar gold piece. It is listed as Judd-1901 in the current pattern reference, but most numismatists now believe these coins should be considered business strikes.

    Initially, 542 examples of the design were struck, but only 472 specimens were ever distributed. The remaining 70 coins were melted after 1915. The design exemplifies the style of Saint-Gaudens, sculpted in high relief, with concave fields that slope up directly into the edge of the coin. A thin fin, or wire rim, of metal is seen around the edge of the coin, caused by the extrusion of metal between the collar and the dies.

    Unfortunately, the lack of a protective rim around the coin and the extremely high relief of the eagle motif on the reverse made the design unsuitable for coinage. The coins did not stack properly and the design details were not sufficiently brought up. Mint Director George Roberts feared the coins would be easy to counterfeit. President Theodore Roosevelt was eventually convinced of these difficulties, and the Wire Rim design was retired in favor of the famous Rolled Rim design.

    Whether the coins were patterns or regular issues became a more-or-less moot point when Roosevelt lifted the ban on selling experimental coins for the 1907 Saint-Gaudens issues. Subsequently, the coins were sold to a wide range of VIPs, Congressmen, Treasury officials, and museums. In the initial distribution, only a few reached collector's hands.

    Prominent coin dealer Henry Chapman did manage to secure a few examples for his customers, however. He wrote to Baltimore collector Robert Garrett, suggesting he should apply to Mint Director Frank Leach to acquire examples of both the Wire Rim and Rolled Rim issues at face value, plus shipping (Chapman related he had privately paid as much as $150 for a single example himself, but Leach would not sell him any more coins):

    "As he has but a few of the wire edge; which he refuses to let me have a specimen of, I would suggest that you write immediately upon receipt of this ... If you succeed in getting them, you are going to get two coins worth $400."



    Garrett did succeed in obtaining the coins directly from the Mint. The Wire Rim specimen sold for $20,000 when it was auctioned in September of 1980. In more recent times, the spectacular MS67 PCGS example from the Husky Collection realized $345,000 when it sold in 2008. Because of its inherent beauty and historic appeal to collectors of many disciplines, the 1907 Wire Rim Indian ten will always attract intense competition at any public offering.

    The present coin is a high-end Choice Uncirculated example, with smooth and finely granular surfaces that capture light and return it many-fold. In hand, the coin appears silky and smooth. The deeply impressed strike is medallic in style and stunning to behold. Any marks are microscopic, confirming that this richly imbued yellow-gold coin was carefully preserved since its mintage and distribution. Population: 3 in 64+, 91 finer. CAC: 14 in 64, 18 finer (4/17).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 8850)

    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
    June, 2017
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,210

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% 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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