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1910 $20 PR66 NGC. In 1908 the Mint sold the first proof double eagles of the new Saint-Gaudens design, as modified by Mint...

2007 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #422

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 4, 2007
Item Activity: 5 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Orlando, FL
Description:
Premium Gem Proof 1910 Satin Finish Twenty
1910 $20 PR66 NGC. In 1908 the Mint sold the first proof double eagles of the new Saint-Gaudens design, as modified by Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber for circulation-strike coinage. This was a time that the Mint was predisposed to experimentation with different proof finishes for gold coinage, in keeping with the new design introductions. (How interesting and ironic it is that in 2006--almost 100 years later--the Mint is again issuing new experimental proof coins, in the form of "reverse proof" gold and silver "American Eagle" coins.) The majority of the 1908 double eagle proofs featured a matte or sandblast finish and were unpopular with collectors. Accordingly, proof double eagle sales plummeted the following year, in 1909, although the Mint switched to a brighter "Roman gold" or satin finish. Sales recovered in 1910; most of the 167 proof examples produced in that year were also of the Roman or satin finish.
This is a beautiful, bright proof. The surfaces show fine granularity and the fields have a semi-reflective quality--a finish that is only found on proof gold from these two years. There are no observable contact marks on either side of this magnificent coin.
The combined population data confirm that this issue and the 1908 are in the median echelons in terms of certified proofs, with nearly six dozen examples of the 1910 at both services combined, and 109 matte proof examples of the 1908. Those figures undoubtedly include numerous duplications, as the recorded mintage for the 1908 matte proof is only 101 pieces! The present PR66 coin offers the brighter Roman or satin finish. It is one of 14 examples so graded at NGC, with four coins finer, PR68 the finest (10/06).
From The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GX, PCGS# 9207)

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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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