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Superb Gem Proof 1912 Double Eagle

1912 $20 PR67 NGC. Ex: Lisa L. This stupendous Superb Gem proof would be a scintillating match for the 1912 eagle in this sale, also graded PR67 by PCGS. Q. David Bowers' A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins comments of this issue, "Dark, grainy Matte Proof surfaces. Sometimes with significant areas of wire rim, particularly on the reverse. Excellent design detail, possibly from multiple striking on a medal press prior to being bombarded with grains of sand." The Mint is known to have experimented with numerous surface treatments and finishes for proof gold coins in the years immediately after the discontinuance of the long-running Liberty Head series, all the way through the end of proof gold coinage (for circulation strikes, although the modern proof bullion and commemorative gold coinage from the Mint shows no signs of abatement) in 1915. (The Garrett-Guth gold Encyclopedia does note a single 1921 "Proof Roman Finish Presentation Striking" double eagle, apparently struck for the Mint director in 1921.) The finishes of 1908-1910 were mostly the "Roman gold" surface, characterized by a brighter yellow-gold color than the matte proof coins also produced in 1908 and 1910, with a fine sandblast finish.
This example shows the characteristic yellow-gold surfaces, which appear essentially flawless. The bold striking detail encompasses all of the pillars of the Capitol building, along with all of Liberty's fingers and toes, and the small feathers on the eagle's underside. While PCGS has never graded an example of this issue finer than PR66, there are 11 pieces in PR67 condition at NGC, with none finer save for a single PR68 piece (10/06).
Plated in Proof Gold Coinage of the United States by Robert J. Loewinger, M.D., as a representative of the 48 Stars variety of Barber/Saint-Gaudens With Motto coinage with a sandblast finish (previously PR66 NGC).
From The Dr. Robert J. Loewinger Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GZ, PCGS# 9209)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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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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