Even if the only significant attribute of the 1930-S Indian Head $10 gold piece was that it claimed one of the lowest mintages in the series, that would certainly be enough to explain the strong collector demand. Just 96,000 coins were struck.
However, what makes this late-date key so challenging is its status as a melt rarity. It is estimated that perhaps 95,000 examples were melted following the Gold Recall of 1933.
Although a few hundred pieces were distributed, probably the vast majority were later melted as unsold. Today, only 150 to 200 1930-S eagles are believed to survive in all grades, with all but five to 10 of them remaining in Mint State. The issue’s rarity was recognized fairly early on; the J.F. Bell Collection example realized $200 in 1944, a 1,900% increase over face value only 14 years after its issuance.
Although the certification totals at PCGS are almost certainly inflated by resubmissions, they provide some insight into the scarcity of the 1930-S. The firm reports 102 grading events in all, most of which fall between MS63 and MS65. This is one of five Premium Gems, one of which boasts a Plus designation. A single MS67 representative from the Duckor and O’Neal collections is finer. NGC population reports show no examples of this date at the MS66 level and a mere two in MS67.
The surfaces of this exquisitely preserved rarity are virtually flawless. The coin’s natural orange-gold color and radiant mint luster blanket each side. Its strike detail is bold, and its fields are clean. Pale accents of red and lilac confirm the coin’s originality and undoubtedly contributed to CAC’s decision to endorse this Premium Gem with a green sticker. One identifying tick on Liberty’s chin bears mentioning. Expected significant interest in this important Registry-grade key.
Heritage Auctions is offering this coin at its July Long Beach Expo/Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction.