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Rare PR66 1912 Double Eagle

1912 $20 PR66 NGC. A mere 74 proofs were struck of the 1912 double eagle. While this number is 25% lower than the previous year's output, the number of survivors is roughly equal for each year. This would indicate that either a higher percentage of the original mintage was saved of the 1912, or fewer 1911 twenties were actually released than the stated mintage. Like other proof twenties, estimates have tended to historically be lower than we believe they are today. Akers estimated that perhaps only 20 to 25 proofs remained. However, we believe that some 40 to 50 individual proof 1912 twenties may exist today. It is noteworthy that we only have records of 27 auction appearances of the 1912 over the past 15 years.
The proof 1912 is generally found with a darker appearance. Not as dark as the 1908, and similar to the 1911. However, the contrast between the 1911 and 1912 in this auction is striking. The 1911 has unusually light yellow-gold coloration, while this piece has the usual "mustard" coloration. Again, like the 1911, the surfaces display a fine granularity over each side and, of course, the striking details are completely brought up as only seen on proof examples of the Saint-Gaudens design.
Technical flaws are virtually non-existent on this magnificent proof. A couple of shiny spots are noted on the obverse, one on Liberty's knee and another on the nose and forehead. A tiny planchet void is also barely noticeable on the upper left (facing) thigh of Liberty. The reverse appears to be flawless. All in all, this is a very impressive example of this rarely offered proof twenty.
From The Alexander Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GZ, PCGS# 9209)

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Auction Dates
April, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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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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