1912 Ten Dollar Indian, PR66
    Fine Sandblast Finish

    1912 $10 PR66 PCGS. CAC. Though the proof Saint-Gaudens eagle series is a brief one -- just eight issues from 1908 to 1915 in the main series, plus a handful of extreme rarities -- it has a plainly visible history of Mint tinkering and experimentation. The idea of matte proofs did not originate in the United States but Europe, where it became a popular choice for medals among artists who preferred to keep the focus on the design rather than the shine of reflectivity, and the Mint made several adjustments to try to balance technical concerns with customers' demands.

    The first official issue of 1908 is described by Garrett and Guth as "a very complex year, with possibly three Proof finishes used for coinage." They cite a "dark matte" finish as the most common, the others falling into the extreme rarities category above. In 1909 and 1910, satin-bright "Roman Gold" variants prevailed as the Mint tried to win back collectors who complained about the dark and dull appearance of the 1908 coins. The 1911 matte proofs are split between 1908's dark matte and a fine sandblast finish that carried through to 1912 and 1913. The last two years brought a coarser grain to the sandblast effect, concluding a widely variable series of finishes and approaches.

    This 1912 fine-finish proof eagle has deep orange-gold color and a dusky, faintly luminous aura. Both sides are pleasingly preserved and generally undisturbed. A small coppery area at the obverse rim between 7 and 8 o'clock may serve as a future pedigree marker. One of just 83 specimens minted. Population: 4 in 66, 4 finer (8/13).
    From A 1912 Gold Proof Set Acquired Directly From The Mint.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26YD, PCGS# 8894)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    25th-29th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
    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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