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    Description

    1907 Ten Dollar Indian, MS67+
    With Periods, Wire Rim Variant
    Low-Mintage, First-Year Issue

    1907 $10 Wire Rim MS67+ NGC. CAC. The 1907 Indian eagle, with a Wire Rim around the circumference of the coin and periods before and after the reverse legend and denomination, represents Augustus Saint-Gaudens' first design for the ten dollar gold piece. Liberty's warbonnet was suggested by President Theodore Roosevelt, to add a distinctive American touch to an issue with the high relief and classical style of the ancient Greek coins. Traditionally listed in the pattern references as Judd-1901 and Pollock-1995, recent research by Roger W. Burdette indicates the 1907 Periods, Wire Rim Indian eagle was not really a pattern issue at all. In late August and early September 1907, 500 specimens were struck, and another 42 examples were produced during the remainder of the year. Of these 542 coins produced, 70 were later melted, leaving a net production total of 472 pieces. Although some extremely rare true patterns exist, struck from a special edge collar (three are included in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution), all 472 examples cited here are now considered circulation-strike examples by USPatterns.com.

    None of the coins were released into general circulation. Instead, Mint personnel distributed them to congressmen, members of the cabinet, and other VIPs, and marketed the remainder to favored coin dealers and collectors for a profit. Henry Chapman and Thomas Elder both secured a large supply of these coins and offered them for years before their stocks became depleted. Initially, the novelty value and limited availability of the coins resulted in strong collector demand and high prices. On February 28, 1908, Henry Chapman wrote to prominent collector Robert Garrett, heir to the B. & O. Railroad fortune, suggesting he apply to Mint Director Frank Leach for examples of both the Wire Rim and Rolled Rim eagles produced the previous year:

    "I wish to give you some information. If you will act quickly upon it I think we will secure for you a couple of coins that are worth large sums. In fact, I have paid $150 cash for one of them myself.

    "The director of the mint, Mr. Frank A. Leach, at Washington, has in his possession, and is distributing at face value, to collectors or public museums, to the later he writes me more especially than to the former, special $10 pieces of the Saint-Gaudens design, 1907."


    Further on, Chapman relates:

    "Send him $20 in gold and 12c in postage stamps, and I think you will succeed. Do not mention my name or your source of information ... As he has but a few of the wire edge, which he refuses to let me have a specimen of, I would suggest you write immediately upon receipt of this. If you can bring to bear any influence of your senator or congressman, it might be well to do so, but I think that it is possible you will get them without bringing anyone else into the matter, which might cause delay. If you succeed in getting them, you are going to get two coins worth $400."


    The clandestine nature of the distribution caused some resentment among collectors and, after the initial cachet of the new coins wore off, collector demand for the issue declined steeply for a while. Collecting large denomination gold coins became much more popular in the 1930s and '40s, and the 1907 Wire Rim eagles soon regained their popularity. Today, they enjoy unprecedented popularity, as the only available ten dollar coin that shows Saint-Gaudens' original design concept.

    Most of the 472 pieces distributed have been carefully preserved over the years, and the majority of coins seen today are in Mint State grades. The issue is rare at the MS67 grade level, however, and finer coins are virtually unobtainable. It has been more than a decade since Heritage Auctions has offered a specimen in MS67 condition.

    This Plus-graded Superb Gem is a spectacular specimen, with virtually pristine orange-gold surfaces and unusually vibrant mint luster. The fields show the swirling die polish lines seen on all examples of this issue and the design elements exhibit the high relief and sharp central detail expected of a Wire Rim example. Like all examples seen, the peripheral devices are not as sharp, due to the basining and lower detail of the dies. The terrific eye appeal of this piece is a match for its outstanding technical quality. Census: 5 in 67 (1 in 67+), 3 finer. CAC: 2 in 67, 0 finer (6/18).(Registry values: N1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 268B, PCGS# 8850)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    14th-19th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,669

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    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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