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Gem 1924-S Double Eagle
1924-S $20 MS65 NGC. The 1924-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle
claims a mintage of more than 2.9 million pieces, but the issue is
scarce in all grades in today's market, and coins at the Gem level
are major rarities. Most of the large mintage was melted after the
Gold Recall of 1933, making the reported production figures totally
irrelevant. In fact, during the decade of the 1940s, the 1924-S was
regarded as the rarest date of the series, with prominent coin
dealers like B. Max Mehl and Abe Kosoff estimating the surviving
population at just 3-6 pieces. Fortunately for present-day
collectors, a number of coins were discovered in European banks,
beginning in the 1950s, causing the 1924-S and many other double
eagle issues to become more available. Currently, NGC and PCGS have
certified nearly 1,000 coins in all grades, but that total
undoubtedly includes many duplicate submissions.
Historic Condition Rarity
Only One Finer Coin at NGC
On the other hand, when collectors seek a truly high-quality example of the 1924-S, they find the situation has changed little from the early days of the 1940s. The coins found in European holdings were subjected to the rigors of transport and storage in bags with other large gold coins. Few examples escaped without significant surface marks, and the great majority are in lower Uncirculated grades, below MS64. At the Gem level, the same handful of pristine survivors that were in the hands of collectors in the 1940s constitute the available supply. NGC has certified 19 specimens in Gem condition, with a single example in MS66, while PCGS has graded only two coins in MS65, with a single piece finer at MS67 (11/11). Even these small totals probably include some resubmissions and crossovers.
The present coin is a spectacular Gem, with well-detailed design elements and vibrant mint luster. The light orange-gold surfaces display attractive rose highlights, and only the most minor signs of contact are evident. As in the historic days of the 1940s, specimens of this quality are seldom encountered. The discerning collector should bid accordingly.
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: N7079) (NGC ID# 26G9, PCGS# 9179)
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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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