1912-S $10 MS (PCGS# 8872)

Jim O'Neal Saint-Gaudens $10

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1912-S $10 MS66 PCGS. The 1912-S, with a little-saved mintage of 300,000 pieces, presents a considerable challenge for the collector. Garrett and Guth (2006) report that "A handful of examples are known that qualify in gem grades, but this is certainly one of the more difficult dates to obtain at this desirable level. In terms of the coins graded by NGC and PCGS, this date ranks seventh overall in terms of rarity." Not only is the 1912-S eagle an important condition rarity, it emerges as one of the absolute rarest issues of the series when overall appearance and eye appeal are factored into the rarity equation. Gold specialist David Akers goes so far as to say that "high grade and attractive" and "1912-S eagle" are almost mutually exclusive terms. Specifically, he indicates that the 1912-S is one of the most poorly struck issues of the series, far weaker than the usual 1911-S or 1913-S. The hair around the face is almost always indistinct, and the feather detail on the eagle's shoulder is usually weak. Akers also notes that the luster is generally well below average for the series. The 1912-S example that we offer in this lot is without a doubt superior to that typically found. It exudes considerable "flash," with bright surfaces that radiate vibrant luster. The color scheme consists of a mixture of peach-gold and faint grayish-green patina, and occasional orange-gold accents. The design elements are better struck than average, though some of the typical weakness in the hair around the Indian's ear is noted. The feathers in the headdress and on the eagle, on the other hand, display nice definition. Some unobtrusive and minute marks near the Indian's ear and on the eagle's head and neck serve as pedigree indicators. When last offered, this was the only PCGS-graded MS66 example of the issue known, and despite the passage of years, that statistic has not changed (11/08). Ex: The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage (Heritage, 11/05), lot 6512. From The
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