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Lot
6836

1909 $20

1996 Mid-Winter ANA Signature Sale #153

 
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Auction Ended On: Mar 15, 1996
Item Activity: 1 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Description:
1909 PR 64 NGC. There were 67 proof double eagles officially struck in 1909. An interesting numismatic sidenote is mentioned in Akers' (1981) book on this series, and we quote in part: "In my 443 catalogue survey, the 1909 appeared more often in proof than any other Saint-Gaudens double eagle. I have no explanation for this since it has been my experience that the 1909 is one of the rarest proofs of this type. It is more rare than most of the Liberty Head proofs after 1895. It is my opinion that no more than 20-25 proofs of this date still exist." It would seem that 28 appearances of proofs in his survey was only a statistical aberration, and we would agree that 1909 proof twenties are indeed much rarer than indicated by the number recorded in his survey. The combined population data from both PCGS and NGC also tends to support this, as the total number certified places the 1909 squarely in the middle of the census data of the eight dates in the series. We tend to believe, however, that the number of survivors is somewhat higher than stated by Akers and would estimate that somewhere between 25 and 35 proofs may still exist.
All proof twenties struck this year were of the Roman Gold variant of the matte proofing process. As such, the coin has an exceptionally bright appearance for a matte proof. The surfaces have a pleasing rich yellow-gold color. When closely examined one notices a few small blemishes here and there, but they are scarcely noticeable to the unaided eye because of the overall brightness of the Roman Gold finish. As has been stated in the write-ups for the smaller denominations of this year, 1909 gold proof sets were quite rare even at the time of issue as it took four years for Henry Chapman to acquire a set for famous collector Robert Garrett.
According to the most recent population data (December '95), this coin is tied with five others of this date as PR 64s, and is exceeded in condition by two NGC Proof 65s and an NGC Proof 68. PCGS has certified 4 in PR 64, 1 PR 65, and 1 PR 66. (NGC ID# 26GW, PCGS# 9206)

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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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