US Coins

Quick returns to market for some coins at auction

A handsome 1907 Indian Head, Rolled Edge gold $10 eagle graded MS-65+ with a green CAC sticker sold for $589,500 on Feb. 18, besting its 2022 outing by just $2,000, but further improving on the $376,000 it realized in 2016.

Image courtesy of GreatCollections.

Coins can return to auction quickly for lots of reasons. Perhaps a collector finds an upgrade for the coin, or maybe it finishes their set and they stop collecting. The various D’s of estate planning — death, divorce, debt and disaster — can interrupt one’s best laid collecting plans and bring coins back to market soon after their original purchase.

GreatCollections offered a 1907 Indian Head, Rolled Edge gold $10 eagle Feb. 18, housed in a distinctive Professional Coin Grading Service holder and graded Mint State 65+ accompanied by a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. It sold for $589,500. Also called a “Rounded Rim” variety, it represents the first year of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ design and was issued to improve the Wire Edge issues that did not stack well.

Only 42, or so, of the new modified examples were released, with the remainder melted after Mint Director Frank Leach agreed with Superintendent John H. Landis that these coins did not meet the Mint’s quality standards.

Both the Wire Rim and Rolled Edge 1907 $10 gold pieces feature triangular stops before and after the words on the reverse. These were not included in designs for the later circulation strikes that year, and the “No Periods” reverse design continued until 1933. Some consider these first 1907 issues to be a distinct design type, akin to the 1907 High-Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagles, more closely representing Saint-Gaudens’ original vision than the later issues with lowered relief do. 

No stranger to the auction block, it brought roughly the same amount two years ago, presented in the same holder at Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Jan. 27, 2022, Regency 50 sale where it sold for $587,500 on an estimate of $500,000 to $550,000. Legend said it had purchased the coin at a June 2016 auction, and some specific identifying characteristics on the coin itself provide a connection with this previous sale.

Small copper spots above the N, between the DO, and on the R in the TEN DOLLAR denomination on the reverse, along with two central copper spots on the obverse show it was offered as lot 1611 at Ira & Larry Goldberg’s June 2016 Pre-Long Beach auction. There, presented as part of “a prominent midwestern family collection” it brought $376,000 on a conservative estimate of $200,000 and up.

Legend added in its 2022 offering, “Just prior to cataloging this coin, the owner turned down $500,000 from TWO people,” concluding, “We expect this coin to set a new record price.” That it improved on that price two years later — even if it was just a $2,000 improvement — speaks to the quality of the coin and the resilience of the coin market.

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