1920-S $10 MS (PCGS# 8881)

The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money

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Lot Description
1920-S Indian Eagle. MS-65 (NGC). Among Indian eagles the 1920-S is an important coin in <em>any</em> grade, indeed the third rarest in the entire series. Even an MS-60 or 61 coin would be worthy of headlines and attention. The present gorgeous Gem is far beyond that and is truly a numismatic landmark -- a highlight of the Bentley Shores Collection. The lustrous surfaces of this incredible Gem rarity are amazing, with merely a couple of trivial nicks scattered about, but far fewer than commonly seen on a typical Gem level Indian eagle. Most of the devices are sharp, but there is minor softness in the strike right at the center of the obverse and along the thigh of the eagle's trailing leg, softness seen on other examples of this date and mint. The eye appeal and general quality are very high, and indeed, this date and mint are so rare, any specialist is fortunate to obtain this issue in any condition. For identification there is a minor bagmark below the first star on the obverse down into the field, and on the reverse a minor graze on the lower portion of the second S of STATES into the field below.<br /> <br /> The original mintage of 126,500 pieces has dwindled down to perhaps 100 examples today. No hoards have turned up, nor have many been found at all from overseas sources. About one-half of those known today are in various Mint State grades, generally in the lower range. Most likely the vast majority ended up being melted in the 1930s when America went off the circulating gold standard. Many Indian eagles survived by going on extended European vacations soon after they were struck, to be used as international banking bullion. However, as a general rule the coins went to Europe from the Eastern banks, hence they were mostly coins struck in Philadelphia. There was little or no reason to send a bag -- or several bags -- of San Francisco eagles to the East where they might have been selected for international banking transfers. Of course after massive inflation, t
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