1907 $10 Rolled Edge MS65 PCGS (The famous Judd-1903). More than a quarter-century before the infamous Franklin Delano Roosevelt Executive Order to recall gold and all but destroyed many of the late classic U.S. gold issues, another single issue was virtually wiped out during his cousin Theodore Roosevelt’s administration. That issue has become known as the “Rolled Edge” $10 Indian.
The rolled edges were meant to solve the problems of their Wire Rim predecessors, but wound up creating problems of their own. In the September 10, 2007 edition of Coin World, Roger W. Burdette and Jeff Reichenberger discuss the reasons for the Rolled Edge problems:
“The first version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens $10 coin had no properly defined rim, made a wobbly stack when the experimental pieces were piled, and required the use of a medal press to bring up the design.
“To remedy these defects, Chief Engraver Charles Barber made a new set of hubs and dies from the same set of models as before. But this time, he cut a well defined rim into the hubs. Experimental pieces demonstrated that the relief was low enough that the coins could be struck on ordinary presses. These were shown to the Treasury secretary and President Roosevelt and approved.
“This second gold eagle version had the design in slightly higher than normal relief. The fields ended at a well defined rim on which the coins could sit when stacked. On the reverse, the legends had small text stops – usually called periods – at ends of each inscription, just as on the first version.
“The Philadelphia Mint struck 31,500 pieces of the second version on normal coinage presses in late September 1907 and the coins seemed destined for release across the country.”
With a new model from the studio of the late Saint-Gaudens, the Mint produced what would be known as the No Periods regular issue, rendering the Rolled Rim coins obsolete. Burdette and Reichenberger quote Philadelphia Mint Superintendent John Landis, in a letter sent to acting Mint Director Preston:
“You will notice that the eagle from the last model is a great improvement over those of the first model. … If this last model meets with your approval, I would strongly urge upon you the expediency of immediately replacing the $315,000 now on hand, of the first model with eagles of the last models. … I think we will be severely criticized, and certainly deserve to be, if the eagles already struck should be allowed to go into circulation.”
In fact, all but 50 examples of the Rolled Rim were melted making this issue one of the rarest gold coins in United States numismatics. The coin is listed in the acclaimed book, 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. That work reports the following, “with the exception of 40 to 50 coins, all of the Rolled Edge coins were melted.”
A previous cataloger praised the luster of this coin, calling it “satiny.” While the coin offers bolder luster than that usually associated with satin, there is considerable fine texture in the sunset-orange fields.
Current leading price guides (Coin Values, Collectors Universe, Numismedia) lists this important 20th century rarity at an average $262,000.
Monaco Offering Price: $257,500