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1908 $20 Motto PR66 NGC....

2013 November 1 - 3 US Coin Signature Auction - New York #1191

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 1, 2013
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
445 Park Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Description:

1908 Motto Twenty Dollar, Matte PR66
Important First-Year Proof Example
1908 $20 Motto PR66 NGC. The 1908 With Motto proofs of the new Augustus Saint-Gaudens design -- here as modified by Mint Engraver Charles Barber -- are the first of the double eagle denomination that collectors of average means stand a chance of obtaining, as all of the earlier proof strikings are highly elusive and expensive. The heavy matte finish on these coins -- of all denominations -- was as unpopular in its day as it is popular with legions of collectors today.

A total of 101 matte proofs were reportedly made of the 1908-dated twenty dollar issue, although a few pieces are also certified with a satin or Roman finish; clearly, this was a time of Mint experimentation with the various textures known on several denominations, including both the new Saint-Gaudens and Bela Pratt designs.

Although NGC has recorded 24 submissions of the matte proof 1908 at the PR66 grade level (including one Plus coin) with 12 finer, it is likely that both figures represent numerous duplications (9/13). PCGS has certified three matte proof 1908 Motto twenties in PR66, with two in PR67 finer.

Coupled with the large, impressive twenty dollar denomination and in splendid technical and aesthetic condition, this Premium Gem first-year-of-type proof coin should prove to be a rare prize for some lucky bidder. The surfaces appear free of any contact, although a couple of rim irregularities show at the upper-left reverse. They appear to be of Mint origin, as the matte texture covers them. Consistent honey-gold color emanates from each side, save for a suggestion of deeper brownish-gold at the lower obverse, below the date. This lovely coin should see healthy bidding at auction, as the strong collector demand for proof gold in higher grades certainly shows no sign of abating.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GV, PCGS# 9205)

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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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