Superb Gem 1925 Double Eagle
1925 $20 MS67 PCGS Secure. CAC. The 1925 Saint-Gaudens
double eagle is, by any measure, one of the most available issues
in the series in the higher Mint State grades of MS65 and MS66.
Among the P-mint issues of the 1920s, only the 1924, 1927, and 1928
issues are more common, and in that order. The 1926 P-mint issue
overall is slightly less common than the 1925, while the 1923-D
likely falls between those two issues but is slightly more
available at the Superb Gem or MS67 level.
Underrated P-Mint Issue, One of Five at PCGS
The 1925 Philadelphia double eagle had a mintage that was typical of the generous productions of many 1920s issues in the series, a quantity exceeding 2.8 million coins. As we offered in our reference on the Phillip H. Morse Collection:
"This is the fifth highest production figure from the Philadelphia facility, behind the 1924, 1927, 1928, and, interestingly, the 1931. The abundance of the 1925-P, like several other 1920s Philadelphia issues, is also due to their long-term residence in foreign banks during the domestic melts of the 1930s."
Despite the issue's relative abundance in Mint State through MS66, at the Superb Gem level all bets are off. This piece is one of only five submissions graded MS67 PCGS, with none finer (10/11). In comparison, in MS67 PCGS has seen 61 submissions of the 1923-D; 79 of the 1924 (with one example in MS68); only three submissions of the 1926; 13 of the 1927; and 70 of the 1928, all including the occasional Plus coin.
The PCGS data, even when one factors in the inevitable duplications, show that at MS67 the availability of the 1925 twenty dollar virtually dries up, and it suddenly becomes a remarkable condition rarity, far less available than several of its P-mint counterparts from the same decade. Serious fans of the Saint-Gaudens series know how rare the 1908-S issue is, but it may give the 1925 Philadelphia new respect to note at the MS67 level, the two coins show the same number of submissions at PCGS, as of the September 2011 Population Report.
The present Superb Gem 1925 is a marvelous coin that we have had the pleasure of offering before, in the memorable Kutasi Collection. The even yellow-gold surfaces show relatively little color variation from one side to the other, but there are remarkably few signs of contact, large or small, save for a tiny scrape on Liberty's brow and a couple of stray grazes on the high points. Liberty has a tiny black spot in her left eye. A tiny patch of abrasions on the eagle's rear feathers is the only mentionable contact on the reverse. The strike is quite bold, displaying sharp detail in the Capitol building, on Liberty's face, fingers, and toes, and throughout the eagle's plumage. It is worth mentioning that the PCGS population of five pieces or submissions has not increased in the five years since we last handled this coin, among the few finest certified of the issue.
Ex: Kutasi Collection (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3296, which realized $23,000.
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# 26GA, PCGS# 9180)
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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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