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Impressive MS64 1926-D Double Eagle

1926-D $20 MS64 NGC. In his A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins, Q. David Bowers offers a wonderful capsule view of this Denver double eagle issue, which has an original mintage of slightly under half a million pieces. He calls the date an "erstwhile formidable rarity," while also noting that it is still "very rare today." Then he writes more at length: "Today the 1926-D is one of the key issues of the Saint-Gaudens series, with only a few hundred known to exist. Typical grades are MS-60 to MS-63. Gems are rare. Today the 1926-D double remains very elusive, though hardly in the 'impossible' category."
The 1926-D, then, was not utterly annihilated like a handful of other issues from similarly late in the series (the most famous example being the 1927-D double eagle), but instead saw a limited release to safe-havens overseas, where they were rediscovered in the 1950s and 1960s. That rediscovery is key to the vintage but still valuable analysis of David W. Akers, who noted in 1982 (when he published the double eagle volume of United States Gold Coins) that he considered the 1926-D just outside his top ten in terms of Saint-Gaudens double eagle rarity.
This example is neither one of Q. David Bowers' "typical" coins, nor one of his (extremely) rare Gems. Instead, it is Choice, "merely" a condition rarity, but beautiful all the same. Orange overtones blossom on sun-yellow luster. The strike is decent, if a little soft on the peripheral devices, and while an abrasion is noted just above 3 o'clock on the obverse, the rest of the coin has few significant marks. A coin of considerable importance. Census: 9 in 64, 0 finer (11/10).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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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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