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1908-D With Motto Double Eagle, MS67
1908-D $20 Motto MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. The 1908-PDS With
Motto double eagles were the first in the series produced after
President Roosevelt lost his battle with Congress to keep IN GOD WE
TRUST off of the new ten and twenty dollar gold pieces. David Akers
notes that the details were sharpened when the new master hub was
made, so that the 1908-D With Motto "appears to be much sharper and
more defined on the obverse than the 1908-D No Motto."
From the 'Gold Rush Collection'
When this Superb Gem crosses the auction block, it will be the seventh appearance of an MS67 PCGS specimen -- but PCGS has certified only three distinct pieces, provenanced below (10/11).
Although Dr. Steven Duckor formerly owned the Eliasberg-Duckor specimen, he sold that coin before purchasing this piece, which appeared in our offering of the remarkable Gold Rush Collection that was assembled by the consignor, working with Georgia numismatist Al Adams. The Gold Rush Collection catalog was the first appearance of an MS67 PCGS piece in our auctions. Due to its remarkable quality, we thought at the time that it might be the Eliasberg coin, which was unplated in the 1982 catalog. Later, when we offered the Eliasberg example, it became clear that the Gold Rush piece was a different coin. The surfaces are virtually flawless; in fact, it is the near-perfection of the surfaces on this and the few similarly graded pieces that makes provenance tracking and plate-matching difficult. Orange-gold and mint-green compete for space against rolling cartwheel luster. The surfaces on this Superb Gem show fine-grained, mattelike luster and are fully struck throughout, attesting to Akers' comment about the sharpened hub details. A few tiny abrasions nestle among the eagle's middle wing feathers, but they are imperceptible without a loupe.
MS67 PCGS Examples
--MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. The present specimen. Florida collection, early 1980s; August Sale (Mid-American Rare Coin Auctions, 8/1987), lot 1243; Al Adams; Gold Rush Collection (FUN Signature, Heritage, 1/2005), lot 30083, in a first-generation small-size PCGS holder, which brought $66,125; later, Legend Numismatics; Heritage Auctions; Dr. Steven Duckor via private treaty. Tiny "apostrophe" fleck of dark toning in the obverse field just right of Liberty's head.
--MS67 PCGS. CAC. (Likely John H. Clapp, direct from the U.S. Mint in the year of manufacture; John M. Clapp; Clapp estate); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate ("U.S. Gold Collection," Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 1028, which brought $10,450, cataloged as "Gem Brilliant Uncirculated, MS-67"; Dr. Steven Duckor; Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage, Part Three (FUN Signature, Heritage, 1/2006), lot 3591, which brought $74,750; Jacob Collection of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles (FUN Signature, Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3361, which brought $74,865; Stephen Stokely Collection, Part Five (ANA Signature, Heritage, 7/2008), lot 2085, which brought $92,000. Small obverse scratch parallels Liberty's branch arm in the field just above it, diagonal tick on arm just below that. A few mostly diagonal marks appear on the bodice and torso. Reverse has tiny mark or planchet flaw in the center-middle feathers of the forewing.
--MS67 PCGS. Jeff Browning; Dallas Bank Collection (Sotheby's/Stack's, 10/2001), lot 157; Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage (Heritage, 11/2005), lot 6558, which brought $80,500; Simpson Collection. Akers plate coin. Tiny obverse ticks at midpoint of sun rays 3 and 6 counting to the right away from Liberty on the right (facing); small speck of dark color touches ray 4 (counting inward from the left obverse rim) just above the Capitol spire.
David Akers Comments:
Many of the comments I made with respect to the 1908-D No Motto apply to the 1908-D With Motto as well. Before 1983, it was very difficult to find examples of this issue that were better than MS63 although the 1908-D With Motto was never thought to be as rare and impossible to find in gem condition as the 1908-D No Motto. For example, both the Eliasberg and Norweb collections, formed decades prior to the early 1980s, contained gems of the With Motto issue; in fact, the Eliasberg specimen was a superb, nearly flawless coin which Dr. Duckor purchased at the famous 1982 sale of Eliasberg's gold coin collection. However, both collections contained only low quality mint state examples of the 1908-D No Motto. (Dr. Duckor sold the Eliasberg coin in 2000 along with several other coins from his set and so it is not the example offered here.)
In 1983, a huge hoard of U.S. double eagles was located in Central America and sold to MTB, a New York City rare coin and bullion dealer of renown. It contained many uncirculated examples of both the 1908-D With Motto and 1908-D No Motto, many of them grading choice to gem uncirculated with some superb MS66 and, in the case of the With Motto issue, one or two MS67 specimens included as well. Today, the 1908-D With Motto is only moderately scarce in gem condition and certainly not rare by any means. Superb MS66 examples remain rare, however, and MS67 specimens are extremely rare with only a handful known. This is one of the two or three finest pieces known and might be the finest from the hoard, although that pedigree cannot be stated with absolute certainty.
From The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection.
Seller is donating a portion of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating the same portion of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 26F9, PCGS# 9148)
View all of [The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection ]
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Buyer's Premium per Lot:
15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.
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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