Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 53

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Lot 1354

1908 $10 Indian. With motto. NGC graded Proof 65. Only 116 proofs struck. This was a trend-setting year for the U.S. Mint. It was the first year Proofs were made of the modernist Saint-Gaudens design, and it was also the first time the new matte Proof finishing process appears on coins sold to collectors. The new designs were a major improvement even though collectors weren't overly familiary with matte Proofs and tended to complain about them. (Proof sales, however, continued at about the same levels as before until a noticeable decline in 1914-15.)

There were 116 Indian Proof Eagles struck this year. They have a distinctive dark finish, between a khaki and olive gold color. The most affordable date in the series, the 1908 Proof can be found in all grades. Still, the number extant is not as large as one might at first believe if you judge by the Population figures (given at the end of this discussion). Factors taking their toll on survivors include mishandling and distribution among non-collectors, the difficulties encountered by people in the Great Depression (many gold pieces were, of necessity, spent to pay bills). Authoratative sources believe that somewhere between 40 to 60 pieces remain today.

This crisp Gem Proof rendering of Saint-Gaudens' masterful design. Sharp in all areas, the matte (or, more properly, sand-blast) surfaces show myriad tiny diamond sparkles that spread light in a random way rather than more uniformly the way the earlier mirror Proofs did. The coin is free from impairment. And finally, it is a wonderful chance for the next owner to acquire one that has already been hand-picked from lesser examples. In a new NGC 4 prong holder. Pop 11; 16 in 66; 10 in 67; 2 in 68. (PCGS # 8890) .
Estimated Value $37,000 - 40,000.

Realized $36,800

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