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Gem Matte Proof 1914 Double Eagle

1914 $20 PR65 NGC. The 1914 twenty was another date that had a minute production of proofs. Only 70 pieces were struck, and examination of Mint records indicates Mint personnel "did it the hard way." Production of proofs did not begin until September 28, when 35 coins were struck, but 10 were rejected and melted. Another 35 pieces were coined on November 4, with 10 rejected again. Finally, on December 19, 30 pieces were produced, but once again 10 were rejected and melted. These numbers are curious and can lead one in a couple of areas of speculation. Was the matte proofing process a difficult one for Mint employees, as indicated by the 30 coins that were rejected? Was 10 a standard number to reject in any production run as it seems to have been in 1914, or merely coincidental? Were the proofers going for a uniform appearance in a production run and were they allowed to reject as many as 10 coins?
Earlier researchers have claimed that between 20 and 25 individual coins remain today from the 70 pieces struck and released in 1913. We believe the actual number to be only slightly higher with an estimated 25 to 30 coins extant. The finish on 1914 proof twenties has a coarser texture than seen in previous years. When viewed by itself, the granules on a 1914 appear tiny. It is only apparent that they are "coarser" when compared to an earlier year. The surfaces of this coin have a pleasing tan-khaki coloration, and are significantly lighter than the previously offered 1913. Examination with a loupe reveals only one small shiny spot, that located on Liberty's right (facing) knee, and a hairline-thin mark across the torso that is only visible with strong magnification. A conservatively graded example of this rarely seen proof double eagle.
From The Alexander Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26H3, PCGS# 9211)

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Auction Dates
April, 2006
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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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