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Description

Superb Gem Proof 1908 Double Eagle
First Matte Proof Issue
Only Two Finer Certified

1908 $20 Motto PR67 NGC. Matte proof double eagles were produced for the first time in 1908, all of them featuring the newer design with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The matte proof finish is prized by present-day collectors, for its artistic European quality, but contemporary collectors preferred the old brilliant finish proofs of earlier years. Anticipating an enthusiastic reception of the new style, the Mint accomplished a generous proof mintage of 101 pieces in 1908, but orders fell far short of the expected total. It is likely that many examples went unsold, and were subsequently melted after the end of the year. In A Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins 1907-1933, David Akers and Jeff Ambio estimate the surviving population at 60-85 specimens in all grades. PCGS, which has certified a total of 37 coins, none finer than PR66, estimates a slightly smaller total of 60-75 pieces (11/11). A single Roman finish proof is also reported.
The present coin is a magnificent Superb Gem, certainly among the finest known examples. The design elements are fully brought up, with exquisite definition on the figure of Liberty and the eagle on the reverse. The columns of the Capitol building are individually countable and Liberty's torch hand shows all fingers sharply delineated. The pleasing khaki-gold surfaces are virtually free of shiny spots or other distractions. The coarse texture of the matte finish does not produce bright mint luster, but promotes an even medallic appearance that focuses attention on the sharply detailed features of the design. This coin possesses incredible eye appeal to go with its high technical grade. Census: 10 in 67, 2 finer (11/11).(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GV, PCGS# 9205)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
3rd-8th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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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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