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    Description

    1908 Indian Eagle, PR66
    With Motto Sandblast Proof
    Finest Gold CAC Example

    1908 $10 Motto PR66 PCGS. Gold CAC. JD-1, Low R.5. The design of the Indian eagle was modified to include the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the reverse in 1908, providing collectors with a popular new design type. The Philadelphia Mint issued Indian proofs for collectors for the first time in 1908, but adjustments to the finish had to be made because of the new design. The Mint found it impossible to polish the proof dies for the new gold coin designs to produce the popular brilliant finish of earlier proofs. Instead, they opted for a dull sandblast finish, in which the planchet was struck from specially prepared dies and then sandblasted with a coarse grain of sand while being held in a glove. The resulting finish had an artistic matte appearance, like that seen on some medals of the period. Anticipating intense collector demand for the proofs, because of the novelty of the design, the Mint struck an ambitious production of 500 proof eagles in 1908. Unfortunately, collectors preferred the old brilliant proofs of prior years, and orders were slow to come in after the initial rush. Only 116 specimens were distributed by December 30, with the rest melted after the end of the year. John Dannreuther estimates the surviving population at 70-80 examples in all grades.

    Most of the coins were initially sold as part of complete four-piece gold proof sets. The proof sets began appearing in auctions as early as 1909, when a set was sold in Henry Chapman's Zabriskie Sale for $70. Soon after, dealers began breaking up the sets, as B. Max Mehl did in his sale of the Charles W. Cowell Collection (10/1911). The four coins from the 1908 gold proof set were offered in individual lots in the appropriate sections of the catalog. The eagle was listed in lot 357, "1908 Sand blast proof. Wire edge. Very rare." The lot realized $18.50, a strong price for the time. Recent sales include the PR66+ PCGS example in lot 4810 of the Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2016), which realized $73,437.50.

    This spectacular Premium Gem proof exhibits the dark orange-gold patina typical of the issue. The virtually flawless surfaces show a couple of shiny spots in the headdress feathers and a faint amber alloy spot above the D in DOLLAR on the reverse. The design elements are sharply detailed throughout, with fine definition on Liberty's curls and the eagle's feathers. The exceptional quality and eye appeal of this stunning proof is attested by the seldom-awarded Gold CAC sticker. We expect intense competition from series specialists when this lot is called. Housed in a green label holder. Population: 9 in 66 (2 in 66+), 6 finer. Gold CAC: 1 in 66, 0 finer (1/20).(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 268E, PCGS# 8890)

    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: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,185

    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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