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1901 Liberty Double Eagle, PR65 Cameo
Classic Gold Rarity
Only 96 Pieces Minted

1901 $20 PR65 Cameo PCGS Secure. Only 96 proof Liberty double eagles were produced in 1901, a considerably smaller mintage than the 124 pieces struck in 1900 and the 114 coins struck in 1902. The reason for the momentary drop in production is unexplained, but the coins began appearing at auction as early as 1908, when an example was sold as part of a gold proof set in lot 85 of the James B. Wilson Collection (Thomas Elder, 10/1908), for $39.
Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth believe the 1901 is actually one of the more available dates from this era, with a surviving population of 40-50 examples in all grades, a good indication of the rarity of all proof twenties from this period. Many 1901 proofs have been mishandled, and high-grade specimens are even rarer than the tiny mintage would suggest. We can find no auction appearance of a PR65 Cameo example in our auction archives, and believe this is the first offering of such a coin since the advent of third-party grading. A few PR66 Cameo specimens have been sold, including the magnificent coin in lot 4706 of our Houston Signature (Heritage, 12/2010), which realized $106,375.
The present coin is a spectacular Gem proof with dramatic, gold-on-black cameo contrast. The devices display razor-sharp details, and the fields are deeply mirrored with the orange-peel texture seen on the best proofs of the era. The surfaces are an attractive lemon-yellow with green highlights. A mint-made surface mark in the shape of a string of pennants attached to the Y in TWENTY appears on this coin and several other examples of this date, but a tiny scratch to the right of the eagle's head is the only pedigree marker of note. This offering represents an important opportunity for proof gold specialists, and we expect spirited competition when this lot is called. Population: 5 in 65 Cameo, 1 finer (6/11).(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 26EN, PCGS# 89117)

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Auction Dates
July, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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