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    Description

    1909 'Satin Proof' Ten Dollar Indian, PR65
    Seldom Offered in Gem and Finer Condition

    1909 $10 PR65 NGC. In Mint parlance the proofs that were struck of the new Saint-Gaudens design were called either "bright proofs" or "satin proofs." Those terms remained in use among collectors and dealers through at least World War II. Then at some time after the war, the terms "Roman Gold" and "Roman Finish" were used to describe the gold proofs struck in 1909 and 1910. The first appearance Roger Burdette has found in a numismatic reference was Walter Breen's 1977 Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins. As Burdette states in an upcoming work on Saint-Gaudens twenties:

    "While 'matte' is a good descriptor of the appearance, it is less informative than the standard term of sandblast which tells us how the surface was made and conveys a metal image of the dull non-reflective appearance. Breen's Roman proof term defies any logical explanation. It refers to no medallic finish type and provides no information about the appearance or method of manufacture."


    And yet, the Roman Finish and Roman Gold proof terminology have endured
    for decades and today seem firmly entrenched in the numismatic lexicon.

    After a disappointing initial year for proofs in 1908, in which 116 matte proofs were struck and sold, demand and production dropped significantly the following year with only 74 "Roman Gold" proofs produced. Curiously, even though the mintage was small for 1909 proof tens, the number of survivors is high relative to other 1908-1915 proof eagles. Akers ranks this year as sixth out of the eight issues in terms of availability. However, high-grade examples (PR65 and finer) are seldom encountered. Our records indicate that there have only been eight auction appearances of a PR65 1909 ten dollar since 1990, including both major services as well as a couple of uncertified pieces. The numbers taper predictably in PR66 with only six auction appearances, the last in 2005. Seven PR67 coins have been auctioned since 1982.

    This piece has a similar appearance to the half eagle from this gold proof set. The underlying brightness is definitely present, as one would expect, but there is a confirmed presence of light reddish patina with occasional streaks of lilac on each side. Only two post-strike contact marks are present, marks that undoubtedly qualify the grade. One is a shallow horizontal abrasion across the high point of the Indian's cheek. The other is a short mark below and to the right of the second T in TRUST in the left reverse field. Still, exceptional quality and rarely found finer. Census: 13 in 65 (1 in 65 ), 13 finer (3/15).
    From The New Orleans Collection.(Registry values: N7079)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28HF, PCGS# 8891)

    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: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,076

    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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