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MS61 1921 Twenty Dollar
Saint-Gaudens Series Key

1921 $20 MS61 NGC. The 1921 Saint-Gaudens double eagle is one of the major rarities in the series, despite an innocuous-sounding mintage of 528,500 coins. But the issue is the only gold coin the United States struck during the year. The date was not exported for international trade; neither did it circulate in the United States. Rather, the coins stayed in Treasury vaults until the 1930s, when they were melted in the great extinction event of the era, the Gold Recall of 1933. Examples are absent in overseas holdings returned to the States, and no domestic hoards have been uncovered. It is likely that no more than 100 examples of the issue survive in all grades.
Despite the appearance of multiple key-date coins from many series in our sales, this date is not among them. Virtually every Heritage Signature sale has numerous examples of the 1856 Flying Eagle and 1909-S V.D.B. cents, the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, the 1893-S dollar, the 1911-D quarter eagle, and other rarities.
Look through the present sale for those dates and others, and almost certainly multiple examples of each will be found. However, the 1921 double eagle is too rare to fit the category of multiple opportunities. A few Mint State examples have appeared numerous times in different Heritage Signature sales. But as best we can determine from our Permanent Auction Archives, we have offered only about a dozen different Mint State examples in the last 15 years, some more than once--an average of less than one unique coin per year.
This example is a brilliant, frosty, and lustrous representative with a few light surface marks on each side. All of the design elements on each side are nicely detailed. Light yellow-gold color is accented by specks of toning. The overall eye appeal is excellent, despite the grade-limiting marks. Census: 16 in 61, 23 finer (8/09).
From The Vegas Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26G2, PCGS# 9172)

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Auction Dates
September, 2009
9th-13th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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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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