1914-S $10 MS (PCGS# 8877)

Jim O'Neal Saint-Gaudens $10

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Lot Description
1914-S $10 MS64 PCGS. Though the San Francisco Mint was one of the most active producers of the eagle denomination during the era of the Coronet Liberty design, output in the Saint-Gaudens years was noticeably slack, with the anomalously high mintage of the 1910-S the lone exception (its production of 811,000 pieces is more than double that of its nearest rival). The 1914-S, struck on the eve of international war, saw a mintage of just 208,000 pieces and experienced considerable attrition, both melting and circulation. Most estimates have fewer than one percent of the mintage surviving today, and Mint State examples make up a minority of extant pieces. Among Mint State coins, most do not reach the Select designation, with Choice and better coins scarce in an absolute sense. One of the best descriptions of this issue's prevailing attributes is found in A Handbook of 20th-Century United States Gold Coins, by David Akers: "The typical 1914-S has much more lustre than the 1912-S or 1913-S and is very similar to the 1910-S and 1911-S in this important respect. All 1914-S eagles I have seen have been frosty and very sharply struck; some even show a trace of the 'wire rim' that is so evident on the 1911-S and, sometimes, the 1913-S. Color is a definite strong point of this issue, typically rich greenish gold highlighted with rose or orange. Top grade examples of this issue are exceptionally pretty." It can take holding a coin such as the present near-Gem, however, to comprehend fully this issue's potential for beauty. Faintly green-gold surfaces with booming luster show ample sun-yellow elements and the occasional hint of orange. Devices are well-defined overall, and the suggestion of a wire rim is present at the upper obverse. Though a few wispy faults on each side combine to preclude a higher grade, this piece's overwhelming eye appeal transcends such quibbles. PCGS has certified 11 finer examples (11/08). From The Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles.
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