It seems many collectors think of the 20th century pre-1933 U.S. gold series as more or less uniformly common in the Choice Uncirculated grade ranges. Of course, specialists know of the major U.S. gold rarities from the art deco era, including the 1907 Ultra High-Relief and 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagles, and then there are many who also rightly recognize keys like the 1911-D Indian Head $2.50 and 1929 $5 Indian Head. But what about the Indian Head $10?
As with any of the gold series, this popular eagle series has its absolute and conditional rarities, and then there are the major rarities. Among these is the 1930-S, which became the last San Francisco Mint production for the $10 Indian Head. The 1930-S Indian Head eagle saw a mintage of only 96,000 pieces -- one of the lowest outputs in a series dominated by production runs often surpassing 500,000 pieces and sometimes topping 1 million.
With a population of just 35 specimens graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and only 33 examples graded higher, the 1930-S Indian Head graded PCGS MS64 is a solid rarity. It's not necessarily the rarest most expensive, but it's also beyond the financial reach of many collectors. That helps to make this an elusive key for presumably the majority of collectors but yet not quite impossible to acquire, either. The lustrous PCGS MS64 highlighted here hammered for $69,000 on April 25, 2021 in a Heritage Auctions sale.
*Images are courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com.