1906 $20 PR66 NGC....
Remarkable 1906 Double Eagle, PR661906 $20 PR66 NGC. The 1906 proof double eagles were produced to the extent of 94 coins. By 1906 there were many more collectors of means than even a decade earlier, and sales of the proof double eagles would have been much higher. It is possible that most of the 94 coins produced actually found buyers by 1906 (the Mint regularly melted unsold proof coins without reducing reported production figures), although time and attrition took their toll later on. The population data at NGC and PCGS are wildly skewed by duplications, crackouts, and resubmissions.
Garrett and Guth in their Gold Encyclopedia offer this concerning the issue:
"The 1906 double eagle is a very rare issue in Proof. Of the 94 coins struck, there are probably just 45 to 50 coins known in all grades. Most of the coins seen of the date are of PF-64 quality. For some reason, many pieces are softly struck on the reverse. Gem examples are also seen less often than many of the dates from 1898 to 1905. There is also added desirability due to the rarity of circulation-strike examples."
In PR66 this is the sole finest certified at NGC, although two PR66 Cameos are its numeric equal. The finest at PCGS are a couple of PR65 coins. This is a fully brilliant Premium Gem with just a hint of cameo contrast. Every detail on each side is boldly defined. The surfaces are virtually pristine with only a couple of faint hairlines. (There are quite a few scuffs on the slab that are not on the coin.) A tiny disturbance on Liberty's cheek appears to be a planchet lamination rather than post-strike contact. The best pedigree identifier we can cite is a faint diagonal line from the underside of the eagle's left (facing) wing below the T in UNITED. A coin of remarkable quality. Census: 1 in 66, 0 finer (11/09).
Ex: Pittsburgh Signature (Heritage, 8/2004), lot 7710, which brought $74,750.
From The Atherton Family Collection.(Registry values: P1) (NGC ID# 26EU, PCGS# 9122)
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