1999-W $10 Eagle Unfinished PR Dies MS (PCGS# 99942)

The March 2011 Baltimore Auction

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Lot Description
1999-W Quarter-Ounce Gold Eagle. Struck from Unfinished Proof Dies. MS-70 (PCGS). Examples of this type have been referred to as&nbsp;Mint errors in the past, and they are now listed as having been struck from unfinished proof dies. The W mintmark is important in making this distinction as, while the coins do not display a full cameo proof finish as one would expect for a proof Gold Eagle, the West Point Mint struck only proof Gold Eagles prior to 2006. It is likely that the dies were not completely polished and otherwise prepared for proof coinage but were accidentally used for this role by employees at the West Point Mint.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There is another theory that could explain the existence of these curious 1999-W Quarter-Ounce Gold Eagles. Late 1999 witnessed a surge in demand for small-size Gold Eagles of the Tenth-Ounce and Quarter-Ounce "denominations" as the public was&nbsp;caught up in the Y2K fear. Since it was late in the year and the Mint no longer had access to dies for producing commercial strikes,&nbsp;a few previously used proof dies were&nbsp;pressed into service to deliver more commercial strikes. A comparison between mintages figures for the commercial strike Tenth-Ounce and Quarter-Ounce Gold Eagles dated 1998-2000 illustrate the strong demand that the Mint witnessed for these coins in 1999. These mintage figures are attributed to Eric Jordan's recently published book, <em>Modern Commemorative Coins</em>, which has an excellent section on the U.S. Eagle series, as well.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Tenth-Ounce Gold Eagle<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;1998: 1,344,520 coins struck<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>1999: 2,750,338 coins s
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