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Super-Slider AU58+ 1920-S Double Eagle
'The Closest Thing to Mint State'

1920-S $20 AU58+ PCGS. CAC. If mintages alone determined rarity, the 1920-S would be among the more available Saint-Gaudens dates. The truth is far more complicated: the patterns of gold commerce and the mass meltings of the 1930s severed the relationship between mintages and survival, especially for many of the post-World War I branch mint issues, of which the 1920-S was the first. Garrett and Guth write, "The 1920-S double eagle is one of the most significant rarities of this series. ... No significant numbers have turned up from overseas hoards, and the few that remain are apparently simply here by chance."
Perhaps most intriguing about the present example is its grade, AU58+. Only a couple of tiny flat spots are visible on the obverse, most notably at the upper gown and raised knee, yet the luster of the apricot-gold fields is all but intact. In the past, an AU58 coin such as this would have traded as a "slider." Today, it is the closest thing to Mint State without the attendant price tag, a potential boon to collectors putting together an otherwise Mint State set of Saint-Gaudens twenties.
As mentioned above, the luster is nearly intact and has a subtle warmth. A narrow grease streak links the tops of the letters in LIBERTY, adding character as well as a distinctive pedigree marker. Lightly abraded, including a scrape just above the eagle's higher wing, with a typical strike for the date that includes softness on the Capitol building and to a lesser extent on other peripheral devices.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26FZ, PCGS# 9171)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
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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My family and I would not have this amazing keepsake memory of my dad's collection without all the hard work, beautiful photos, tasteful layout and eloquent descriptions that you and your team did.
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