Superb Gem 1924 Twenty
1924 $20 MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. The 1924 Philadelphia double
eagle was made almost exclusively for international consumption.
World War I had halted production of all U.S. gold coins by 1917,
something that did not occur in previous U.S. military conflicts
such as the Civil War or the Spanish-American War. Use of federal
paper money ("greenbacks") was an innovation of the Civil War and
not widely adopted immediately, but by 1917, the use of Gold
Certificates, Demand Notes, and the then-novel Federal Reserve
Notes was accepted more widely. When European commercial shipments
were disrupted by the naval blockades of World War I --
exemplified, though by no means restricted to, the U-boat campaign
of Germany that sank the Lusitania and many other ships --
the international trade that was U.S. gold coinage's reason for
existence dried up. The only circulating gold coinage of 1916 was
struck at the San Francisco Mint on the West Coast, and the first
post-World War production of regular denominations consisted of
eagles struck at San Francisco and double eagles struck there and
Quintessential Type Issue
From 1921 through 1924, the double eagle was the only noncommemorative gold denomination issued by the United States, an indicator of both the relatively low domestic demand for gold circulating coinage and the preference of larger denominations in trade. By 1924, with the U.S. economy in a boom period and a rebuilding Europe ravenous for hard currency, the double eagle was being produced in record-setting numbers: more than 4.3 million for the Philadelphia issue (the highest Saint-Gaudens double eagle mintage up to that date), over 3 million for the 1924-D, and in excess of 2.9 million for the 1924-S. The various issues' outcomes were not the same, however; while the Philadelphia issue's tens of millions in face value largely went overseas for international transactions, the Denver and San Francisco coins were kept stateside for the most part. As a result, when the gold recall and mass meltings of the 1930s wiped out all but a few hundred of the 1924-D and 1924-S twenties, hundreds of thousands of Philadelphia 1924 twenties remained in European vault storage and out of the reach of the American government.
Today, the Denver and San Francisco issues rate as melt rarities of the series, while the 1924 Philadelphia is indisputably the most available Saint-Gaudens twenty in terms of sheer numbers. Between them, NGC and PCGS have certified well over half a million 1924 twenties, and perhaps as many coins remain uncertified. There are 78 pieces graded MS67 in the PCGS Population Report, but only one coin labeled MS67+ and a single MS68 finer (10/11); with more than a quarter-million examples certified by PCGS alone, the present piece is better than 99.9% of known survivors in the most literal sense.
Orange-gold luster is prominent through broad centers and as an arc along the upper obverse, with slight yellowing elsewhere. Cartwheel luster is smooth and gorgeous with a touch of satin, and the grade is due to graze-patches on the left edge of Liberty's drapery and the eagle's near wing rather than marks of any real depth. An incredibly rewarding coin.
Ex: Ed Hipps (1978).
From The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection.
Seller is donating a portion of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating the same portion of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26G7, PCGS# 9177)
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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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