1907 $10 Wire Rim MS64 NGC
We offer a brilliant, lustrous specimen of this great classic, the 1907 Indian eagle by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This is the rare variety with periods before and after the legends on the reverse. Only 500 or so of these were issued, privately to Treasury officials and others in the government plus, seemingly, some laundered through "pet" dealers, Henry Chapman in Philadelphia and Thomas L. Elder in New York City. Today, most still survive, but the number made was so low, and the reverse type sufficiently distinctive, that these coins have always been in incredible demand. Years ago it was common to call some of these Proof, but as all 1907 Wire Rim $10 Indian pieces have exactly the same finish, they are either all Proofs or are all Mint State. By now, in 2010, the matter seems to have been settled among knowledgeable numismatists, and we scarcely hear of pieces being called Proofs any longer. The 1907 With Periods $10 is not a pattern (although it is listed in the Judd pattern book for some curious reason), it is a design type all its own. Accordingly, it deserves a place in an advanced type set. If you can afford this lovely piece, you certainly will enjoy owning it - it is very attractive and quite historical.
On this lovely eagle, high wire rims surround the peripheries, triangular "periods" before, between, and after UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and TEN DOLLARS (these "periods" were removed from the design when it was remodeled by Charles Barber for general circulation purposes later in 1907, thus producing the much more common No Periods type). Mintage is estimated at around 500 pieces. Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this among the most desirable of all 20th-century gold rarities. No specific information about the making or distribution of this issue appeared in the numismatic press, and collectors had to scramble to track down pieces. Some interesting correspondence in this regard, between dealer Chapman and Baltimore collector Robert Garrett can be found in Bowers' 1982 book, The History of United States Coinage. Walter Breen called the with-period design type "The only available gold $10s showing the Saint-Gaudens conceptions in anywhere near their pristine splendor," inferring that the later remodeling by Barber greatly diminished Saint-Gaudens' concept, both in strength and character. Actually, both are quite different in their appearance, and each has its own beauty. The 1907 with-periods has fields with myriad microscopic raised swirls and curls from the die-finishing process (a feature also seen on the MCMVII High Relief double eagles). The without-periods 1907 $10 coins have a normal frosty luster, and are also beautiful examples of the type. (PCGS 8850)
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