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Superb Matte Proof 1912 Twenty Dollar

1912 $20 PR67 NGC. When we cataloged the 1994 ANA Sale, we were fortunate to have complete set of matte proof gold consigned. This was an opportunity for study, and it was also an opportunity to reassess the rarity of these coins. Previous estimates had been based on Breen (1988) and Akers (1988). Both authors had understated the number of survivors in all series. Jim Halperin used his many years of experience and revised the numbers believed extant before the catalog went to press. The result were write-ups and estimates of the number of survivors that has proved to be more in line with the number of coins certified by the major services. For instance, it was previously believed that the 1912 proof twenty had only 10-12 proofs surviving (Breen, 1988), or 20 to 25 pieces according to Akers (1988). However, we believe the actual number of survivors out of the original mintage of 74 coins to be somewhere in the range of 25 to 35 pieces.
The surfaces of matte proof gold vary from year to year because of the method of manufacture. Sometimes a finer grain finish was used, sometimes a coarser grain. The 1912 shows a fine-grain finish with darker color. The color is certainly not as dark as the 1908 coins, but significantly deeper than other years, especially the 1911. There is also a slight variation in hue on this piece, with the center of the obverse showing a slightly reddish cast. The surfaces are nearly perfect, as indicated by the Superb grade. The only vaguely noticeable surface flaw is a shiny spot on the knee of Liberty. Census: 11 in 67, 1 finer (12/06).(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26GZ, PCGS# 9209)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
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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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