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1903 Liberty Double Eagle, PR64
All-Brilliant Early 20th Century Proof
Only Three Specimens Finer at PCGS

1903 $20 PR64 PCGS. CAC. Premium quality for the grade. This spectacular Choice proof offers vibrant reflectivity and vivid butter-yellow fields with elements of orange, subtle alloy at the date, and a touch of patina at the margins. The devices are decisively struck with minimal contrast, a typical feature of the brilliant proofs that prevailed at the Mint in the early 20th century. A few wispy hairlines in the fields do not detract from the excellent eye appeal of this specimen. Anything finer is extremely rare, with three examples above PR64 certified by NGC, all with the Cameo designation, and only three such coins graded by PCGS, one with Cameo surfaces (6/11). At any level of preservation, this impressive proof would be a prize, and its near-Gem status only reinforces its desirability.
The 1903 proof double eagle, with an official mintage of 158 specimens, has the highest stated production for any Liberty issue and the second-highest for the denomination (behind only the 1910). In practice, the 1903 is no more readily available than its 1901 or 1902 counterpart, as suggested by recent auction records, and it is plausible that a number of examples were melted by the Mint as unsold. The combined population total gleaned from the NGC Census Report and the PCGS Population Report is doubtless influenced by resubmissions, and estimates from Garrett and Guth (2006) place the total surviving population of 1903 proofs at 40 to 50 pieces in all grades. The authors further note: "In recent years the demand for examples of the type in Proof has increased dramatically. The supply will most likely never meet the demand for these large, impressive coins." Recent auction appearances include the PR64 PCGS specimen in the Summer FUN Signature Auction (Heritage, 7/2010), lot 4919, which realized $43,125. Housed in a green label holder.
Ex: Dallas Signature Auction (Heritage, 11/2007), lot 2471.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 26ER, PCGS# 9119)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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