Estimated grade. SAINT-GAUDENS INDIAN HEAD WIRE EDGE.
David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. Head of Liberty facing left wearing a feathered Indian headdress. Inscribed on the band of the headdress is LIBERTY. Above the head around the border are 13 stars. The date, 1907, is below the bust. Reverse. Proud looking eagle facing left and standing on a bundle of arrows. Across the arrows lies an olive branch. To the right of the eagle's left wing is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM in three lines. Above the eagle around the border is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Below the eagle is the denomination TEN DOLLARS. Periods are before and after every word of the legends and motto.
Comments: This is the most common of all U.S. gold patterns. According to a letter from Henry Chapman to John Garrett in February, 1908, a total of 500 pieces were struck. Every specimen that I have seen has considerable "straw" (raised die scratches) over much of the surface and I think it is probable, as Abe Kosoff stated in An Illustrated History of United States Coins, that "all specimens from this die are proofs. There are no uncirculated specimens and any such distinction in Standard Catalogues or Guide Books is, in our opinion, erroneous" (p. 62).
This pattern eagle is the so-called "wire edge" variety. There is no rim or border to speak of and the surface of the piece connects directly to the wire edge. Because of this wire edge and the relatively high relief, "stacking" was impossible and this necessitated some adjustments by Charles Barber in Saint-Gaudens' original design. The result was the so-called "rolled edge" variety J-1775, which is discussed next.
With such a relatively large quantity struck, most of which are still in existence, a complete listing of known specimens is obviously impossible. However, this pattern and the 1879 flowing hair stella are the only gold patterns that are consistently available today. There is also one specimen known with a plain edge.