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Premium Gem 1914 Double Eagle
Notable Condition Rarity

1914 $20 MS66 NGC. No explanation of the 1914 double eagle's low mintage is complete without examining the nature of American-European trade at the time. Such trade was conducted largely in gold, which, irrespective of the issuing nation or the denomination stamped upon a coin, had an empirically testable intrinsic value that had no chance of vanishing overnight as the result of a political machination. As the tensions between the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente increased, the uncertainty affected commerce as well, and with the onset of what would be known first as the Great War and later World War I, the vessels carrying goods across the Atlantic became targets for submarine warfare, which put a chill over shipping.
Mintages for the double eagle (the largest regular U.S. gold denomination) at the East Coast Mint in Philadelphia hit a local low of 95,200 pieces in 1914, the year Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated and full warfare broke out on the Continent. The coins that survive today largely are unspent or Mint State pieces, though usually with heavy marks that keep the coins out of the better Mint State tiers. While the 1914 double eagle is available for a price in grades through MS64, it is an extreme condition rarity in MS66 and unavailable numerically finer. This Premium Gem has strong yellow-gold "cartwheel" luster with apricot aspects and a narrow line of orange slanting through the rays of the reverse sun. The detail is above-average, as is the preservation, and the coin's overall eye appeal is stunning. A copper spot touching the left side of the L in LIBERTY may serve as a future pedigree marker. Census: 1 in 66, 0 finer (11/12).(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 26FS, PCGS# 9164)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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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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