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1920-S Double Eagle, One of the Rarest Issues in the Saint-Gaudens Series

1920-S $20 MS 64 PCGS. The 1920-S ranks as one of the rarest collectible issues in the Saint-Gaudens double eagle series. It would probably be the fourth date on anyone's rarity ranking after the 1907 Extremely High Relief, 1921, and 1927-D. The fact that we are offering both a 1920-S and a 1921 in this sale is a source of great pride and the mark of an important numismatic event that will not soon be forgotten.
The vast majority of the 558,000 double eagles that the San Francisco Mint produced in 1920 were melted without having ever seen the light of day. While several other mintmarked issues from the 1920s have been well represented in repatriations from Europe, it seems likely that the 1920-S has never appeared on the market in quantity. A few high quality examples are known, but the number of advanced gold collectors is far greater than this limited population. While the typical 1920-S is poorly struck, the present example displays strong, although not complete definition. The texture is frosty and the luster swirls around both sides with moderate intensity. There are no individually mentionable post-production distractions and a single planchet void (as struck) in the reverse field before the eagle's beak is mentioned for pedigree purposes. A coin whose rarity and Condition Census standing is as impressive as its technical merits. (NGC ID# 26FZ, PCGS# 9171)

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Auction Dates
August, 2000
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
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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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