1907 $10 Wire Edge MS (PCGS# 8850)

The January 2011 Tampa Bay Rarities Sale

  • Auctioneer:
    Bowers & Merena
  • Lot Number:
    1544
  • Grade:
    MS67
  • Price:
    $230,000.00
Lot Description
One of the great and classic rarities in the 20th century United States gold series, the 1907 Wire Rim is the first Indian Eagle design that the Mint prepared&nbsp;in significant quantities.&nbsp;For years these pieces have been referred to as patterns, as indicated by our inclusion of the Judd and Pollock reference numbers in deference to numismatic tradition. They are not technically patterns, however, as most examples were&nbsp;actually prepared and intended for use as presentation pieces.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Most Wire Rim Eagles of the Judd-1901 variety were prepared at the request of then-Secretary of the Treasury George Bruce Cortelyou on the order of President Theodore Roosevelt. The president wished to provide examples of Saint-Gaudens' initial Indian Eagle design for distribution to contemporary Americans so that they could appreciate one of the most beautiful coins ever struck in the United States Mint. That the coins were initially conceived as patterns cannot be denied, but by the time the Mint was ordered to strike a significant quantity of such pieces it was already obvious to all involved that the Wire Rim design would not suffice for circulation and had to be replaced. This is because the lack of a raised protective rim (the design actually flowed all the way to the border) left the coins vulnerable to excessive wear and damage in circulation. Additionally, the relief was too high, making the coins difficult to strike and nearly impossible to stack, as would have been required for inventory purposes by the banks, government agencies and financial institutions who were seen as the primary users of the new Eagle.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;President Roosevelt obviously had a close affinity to the entire Indian Eagle project, the redesign of this denomination having been undertaken by his friend Augustus Saint-Gaudens as part of the president's ambitious plans to modernize the nation's coinage. Saint-Gaudens' original Eagle design is defini
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