Estimated grade. Purchased by Louis Eliasberg when he acquired the John Clapp collection in 1942. Earlier from J.C. Mitchelson in 1908. Purchased at the Bowers & Ruddy Oct '82 Eliasberg sale by Jimmy Hayes for $26,400. Lot #842.
David Akers (1975/88): Technically, the 1907 Wire Edge is a pattern (Judd 1774) and not a regular issue but it has always been considered an integral part of the series. The 500 mintage figure comes from a 1908 letter from dealer Henry Chapman to John Garrett, and this number is probably correct since Chapman had very close Mint connections. It is entirely possible that all 500 are really proofs rather than business strikes but there is no way to know for sure. One thing is certain, however; all of the known examples of this issue are of the same method of manufacture and so any distinction between "Proof" and "business strike" 1907 Wire Edge eagles is incorrect. The typical specimen is fairly well struck on the central devices (Indian and eagle) but very weakly struck at the borders. Lustre is typically good to very good. The surfaces are rather satiny with numerous random die scratches in the fields and the color is almost always light yellow gold or light greenish gold although some specimens are either orange gold or very coppery in color.
The 1907 Wire Edge is one of the highest priced issues of the series but it is actually in the lower half of the series with respect to both overall rarity and condition rarity. Locating a specimen MS-63 or lower is not particularly difficult and even very choice pieces (MS-64) are seen fairly often. However, true gems are certainly very rare since there is no rim on these coins and so unprotected surfaces are prone to nicks and scratches. A few extraordinary quality examples exist that are very nearly as struck. Dr. John Wilkinson's was perhaps the nicest I have seen, but a handful of others are just about the same.
Ed Trompeter Collection - Superior 2/1992:179 (as Raw MS65), $26,400.00 - Heritage 5/2008:3461, $149,500 - Bentley Shores Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4523, $211,500