1915 $10 MS (PCGS# 8878)
The June 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 9708
View the Original Auction
The relatively obtainable nature of the 1915 Indian eagle in an absolute sense conceals the awesome condition rarity of this exquisite high end Gem. True, this issue is among the more plentiful Indian tens in today's market, although it is still rarer in Mint State than the 1907 No Periods, 1910, 1910-D, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1926 and 1932. Still, enough coins are extant that the less demanding collector should have little difficult acquiring a 1915 in, say, MS-63 or MS-64 for their holdings.<br /> Where the awesome rarity of the 1915 comes to the fore, however, is at and above the MS-66 grade level. This is true of all issues in the Indian eagle series, the type as a whole being much more difficult to locate in high grades than the Saint-Gaudens double eagle. The eagles saw more active commercial use with individual coins more likely to acquire wear and/or detracting abrasions; many double eagles, on the other hand, spent long periods of time--decades, in fact--sequestered in government and bank vaults as part of bullion or cash reserves. Writing in the 2008 revision to the book <em>A Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins: 1907-1933 </em>by David W. Akers, in fact, Jeff Ambio accounts for only 20-25 examples of the 1915 Indian eagle in MS-66 and higher grades.<br /> This issue was produced to a high standard of quality, and the smooth, expertly preserved surfaces of the present example allow ready appreciation of this characteristic. Both sides are drenched in thick, rich, billowy mint frost that blends seamlessly with vivid rose-orange color. There are hardly any abrasions of even a minor nature, and the coin's appeal is even further enhanced by a razor sharp strike. A beautiful Indian eagle irrespective of date or issuing Mint, and a piece that would serve as a centerpiece in a high grade type or date set of 20th century U.S. gold coinage.