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1926 Double Eagle, MS66
Elusive in Top Grades

1926 $20 MS66 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Duckor/Akers. Gold coin experts and general numismatists alike will often state that the 1926 Saint is a common issue, plentiful in all grades, placing them in the same category with all other P-mint issues from 1924 to 1928. In A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins, published in 2004, Dave Bowers wrote: "Among the relatively inexpensive and highly collectible Philadelphia Mint double eagles of this era, the 1926 has long been a favorite. Gem MS-65 and even finer pieces are readily available, with great eye appeal to go along with the numerical designations." In Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795-1933, published in 2006, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth commented that "as a date, this is one of the most common issues in the series, ranking number 48 of the 54 dates and mints."
However, series specialists will clarify that the 1926 is hardly a common issue when compared to the 1924 and 1927 P-mint issues, or even the 1925 and 1928 issues. In A Handbook of 20th-Century United States Gold Coins 1907-1933, published in 1988, David Akers provided more detail about the 1926 Saint-Gaudens double eagle:

"The 1926 is one of the most common issues of the Saint-Gaudens series, but it is still a distinct step higher in overall population rarity and condition rarity than such truly common issues as 1924, 1927, and 1928 with which it is generally, but incorrectly, associated. Contrary to what some other experts have written, the 1926 is also significantly more rare than 1925, especially in gem condition."

A study of PCGS population data will clarify the relationship of various common and so-called "common-date" double eagles from the 1920s. Among issues with the highest total populations, there are three, or perhaps even four distinctly different groups. The most common issue is 1924, with an incredible PCGS population of a quarter-million pieces. Next is 1927 with a total of 130,000 submissions. The second tier includes 1925 and 1928, each with more than 40,000 coins graded, and behind that are the 1923 and 1926 issues, with total populations of about 20,000 coins.
Most important in the context of the present offering of coins from the Duckor Collection is the availability of high-grade coins, or those that are certified finer than MS65. Once again, consultation of the PCGS Population Report provides a clear picture. The only common dates in high grade are the 1924, 1927, and 1928, with 7,900, 5,300, and 2,700 pieces certified finer than MS65, respectively. The next tier includes a date usually not associated with the common issues. The 1923-D has a high-grade population of 1,500 coins, and 1925 has a population of more than 1,000 coins. Finally, the 1926 falls far short of the others with only 725 MS66 PCGS coins certified to this time (10/11). Saint-Gaudens collectors might as well forget about a finer piece, as PCGS has only certified three MS67 examples. There are 10 different issues with a higher Superb Gem population.
PCGS-certified MS66 examples of the 1926 are infrequently encountered, and as always, a candidate for cherrypicking to find the right coin, one that is sharply struck with full luster and excellent eye appeal, a coin such as the Duckor specimen. This Premium Gem exhibits rich luster with brilliant yellow- and orange-gold surfaces and bright mint frost. The Duckor specimen is fully struck with patches of lilac on the reverse, showing tiny blemishes on the eagle's breast that provide for future identification.
Ex: David Akers.
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: N2998) (NGC ID# 26GD, PCGS# 9183)

View all of [The Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,277

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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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