US Coins

Tiny mistake makes American Eagle $10 a $10K rarity

2016 has been a relatively good year for gold.

It started the year at $1,072.70 an ounce and then enjoyed steady gains this summer when it routinely hit the $1,350 level. It has moved down from those levels while people wait for the outcome of the presidential election and any potential market response that may impact precious metal prices.

RELATED: How slumping precious metals prices are affecting the rare coin market

Despite this uncertainty, collectors still love gold coins, especially rare and unusual ones.

Here is one of three from recent sales that caught my eye. 

The Lot:

1999-W American Eagle gold $10 coin struck from unfinished Proof dies, MS-70

The Price:


The Story:

The U.S. Mint was busy in 1999 striking gold coins to meet increased demand for physical gold products. The demand was the result of various factors, including the Y2K fear that computer systems would collapse as 1999 turned into 2000.

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During 1999 the U.S. Mint made a major mistake when it used unpolished Proof dies with the W Mint mark of the West Point Mint to strike American Eagle gold tenth-ounce $5 and quarter-ounce $10 bullion coins. Only Proof coins from that year were supposed to carry the W Mint mark.

The error coins that were released are rarely found in a perfect Mint State 70 grade. While Professional Coin Grading Service has graded 1,453 $10 coins in MS-69, it has graded just 10 examples in MS-70. At an Oct. 23 GreatCollections online auction, a 1999-W American Eagle $10 coin struck from unfinished Proof dies and graded PCGS MS-70 sold for $10,028.70.

That strong price was not an outlier. Earlier in October, Heritage sold a different example for $11,750.

Keep reading this gold-rarity-themed Market Analysis:

Saddle Ridge Hoard gold coinNo price bump for an 1889-S Coronet $20 double eagle from the Saddle Ridge Hoard?: The price realized was in line with prices that comparable non-Saddle Ridge examples had brought in recent transactions.

50-year ANA membership medalWhose ANA 50-year membership gold medal brought more than $2,000?: The ANA has issued a variety of numismatic collectibles including membership medals, award medals and convention medals during its long history.

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