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Description

Rare 1924-S Double Eagle, MS65
Sharply Struck

1924-S $20 MS65 NGC. The 1924-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle boasts a relatively generous mintage approaching 3 million pieces. Nevertheless, the issue is scarce in all grades, and Gem and finer examples are major rarities. Most of the coin's large mintage was melted in the 1930s after the Gold Recall; indeed, some numismatists consider the '24-S to be one of the most heavily melted dates in the Saint-Gaudens twenty dollar series. What initially appeared to be a very low survivorship led B. Max Mehl to estimate in the late 1940s that only three pieces were known, and Abe Kosoff in the 1950 Adolphe Menjou sale to contend only five coins were extant. Fortunately for present-day collectors, a small number of examples were discovered in European banks beginning in 1953, and more in the 1960s, demoting the 1924-S from the "rarest of the rare" to the "scarce" category. That said, NGC and PCGS have certified fewer than 1,000 coins in all grades, but that total undoubtedly includes many duplicate submissions.

Most all of the coins that came out of European banks in the 1950s and 1960s were heavily marked. Consequently, most certified specimens fall into the MS62 to MS64 range. Specifically, the population reports indicate nearly 750 surviving examples in that range. MS65 coins, with a certified population of just 21 pieces, are extremely rare, and finer specimens are virtually unobtainable.

The present Gem offering is thus among the finest examples of the 1924-S twenty that the advanced collector can hope to realistically acquire. Its highly lustrous surfaces yield attractive yellowish-gold patina imbued with hints of light green. The design elements exhibit sharp detail, including the the letters in LIBERTY (that are often weak on some specimens), the fingers of Liberty's hands, most of the panels in the Capitol building, and the eagle's plumage. A couple of small marks on the ankle of Liberty's right (facing) leg and one or two above the eagle's head may help identify the coin.
(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26G9, PCGS# 9179)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
April, 2013
24th-28th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 594

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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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