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Description

1908 Saint-Gaudens Twenty, Gem Matte Proof

1908 $20 Motto PR65 PCGS. The Philadelphia Mint produced both No Motto and Motto business strike Double Eagles in 1908. The proofs, however, were struck later in the year as they are all of the Motto type, a result of Congressional support of the mention of the deity on the nation's larger coins. Breen (1977) states that these coins were produced with three different finishes: light matte, dark matte, and "Roman Gold." While it would be a gross misnomer to label the 1908 proof Twenty a common coin, it is true that it is the date most frequently encountered among the eight issues in this very rare series. Green (1936) notes that an unknown number of proofs were melted in the mint as unsold on January 2, 1909. Published estimates of the number of survivors of this issue range from as few as 15 to 25 (Bowers) to as many as 30 to 35 (Akers). We believe the number to be even larger and estimate that there are between 45 and 60 pieces in all grades known today.
An original coin, both sides display the olive-gold color that is characteristic of many extant dark matte examples. The surfaces exhibit a slightly granular texture, and the only mentionable abrasion one can use as a future identifier is seen in the obverse field to the left of the base of the torch. This is only detected, however, as the coin is turned under a light source. The crisp striking details are indicative of proof production methods. An important rarity from a perennially popular 20th century gold series. Population: 14 in 65, 1 finer (3/04).(#9205) (Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GV, PCGS# 9205)

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Auction Dates
July, 2004
20th-21st
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
Revised Edition by James L. Halperin, Mark R. Borckardt, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan, with special contributor David W. Akers

The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an issue-by-issue examination of these two artistically inspired series of gold coins. Each date and mintmark is reviewed with up-to-date information, much of which has never been previously published. The book is based on two extraordinary collections: The Phillip H. Morse collection and the Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor collection.

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