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1920-S Double Eagle, MS61
1920-S $20 MS61 NGC. Despite a not insignificant mintage of
558,000 pieces, the 1920-S has long been regarded as one of the
premier rarities in the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series. Most of
the mintage was held in domestic bank vaults as currency reserves
during the 1920s and subsequently destroyed after the great Gold
Recall of 1933. Some dates from this period were used in foreign
trade, and examples were preserved in European banks to be
repatriated at a later date. This was not the case with the 1920-S,
as it has never surfaced in major quantities from foreign sources.
In the 1940s the 1920-S was overshadowed by the rare 1921 double
eagle, but in recent years numismatists have realized the two
issues are quite similar in rarity. The 1920-S is equally as
elusive as the famous 1921 in circulated grades, but the edge goes
to the P-mint production above the Mint State threshold.
Nevertheless, a Brilliant Uncirculated 1920-S double eagle is a
rare coin whose appearance at auction is sure to inspire spirited
A Premier Series Rarity in All Grades
The present coin displays bright, satiny surfaces and strong mint luster. Except for a short scratch on Liberty's right (facing) arm, no individually mentionable abrasions are noted. This coin actually seems undergraded at the MS61 level. Hints of green visit the light orange-gold surfaces when tilted in the light. The strike is frequently weak on the 1920-S, and this example exhibits slight softness on the Capitol building, but otherwise seems sharper than the typical specimen of this date. The color and luster of this piece combine to create exemplary eye appeal. Census: 12 in 61, 46 finer (3/12).
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2004), lot 7715; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2010), lot 3620.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26FZ, PCGS# 9171)
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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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