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Fantastic MS64 1869-S Twenty

1869-S $20 MS64 PCGS. CAC. While Type Two Liberty double eagles are desired as a category, within the group, the 1869-S does little to distinguish itself in the midrange circulated grades, as Garrett and Guth note in their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins. Beyond XF45, however, a new pattern emerges: "The majority of coins offered at auction in the last two decades have been About Uncirculated. Mint State examples are very rare, most being only at the MS-60 or MS-61 level. Many great collections of the past have lacked the date in Mint State."
The level of challenge progresses as the grade increases. In the words of Garrett and Guth, "Although the date is very rare in Mint State, a few choice examples are known." Among Choice coins, "a few" is appropriate indeed; there is a combined population of 14 MS64-graded pieces, nine graded by NGC and five by PCGS, with none finer (11/09). As with most certified populations, there is a distinct possibility that the figures include at least one resubmission.
As one of five PCGS-graded pieces, the present near-Gem is of particular importance to Registry enthusiasts. Pale straw-gold and deeper canary-yellow shadings mingle in the immensely lustrous, faintly frosty fields. While the portrait and the obverse stars show a degree of striking softness, the surface quality is remarkable; Liberty's cheek shows no marks of any significance, only a small luster scrape. While the few abrasions on the reverse render the grade technically accurate, its eye appeal far surpasses the traditional understanding of an MS64 coin.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26A6, PCGS# 8956)

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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