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Marvelous MS64+ 1926-D Twenty

1926-D $20 MS64+ PCGS Secure. CAC. For the first 20 years or so after the gold recall of 1933, the 1926-D double eagle was considered one of the premier rarities of the Saint-Gaudens series, if not the greatest rarity. As late as 1957, a Stack's catalog proclaimed of the 1926-D, "The rarest coin from the Denver Mint, and also in our opinion the rarest double eagle." Both assertions have been invalidated by history since then: 1926-D double eagles have been found in small quantities overseas, whereas 1927-D twenties effectively have not. In his Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins, Q. David Bowers calls the 1926-D an "erstwhile formidable rarity."
Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in that direction, though; the fact remains that the 1926-D is a melt rarity, estimated by Garrett and Guth in 2006 as "10th scarcest of the 54-coin series." Further, Q. David Bowers does give the date some credit in his Guide Book, stating, "Today, the 1926-D double remains very elusive, though hardly in the 'impossible' category."
Beyond MS63, the 1926-D double eagle becomes conditionally challenging as well, and this near-Gem borders on the next step. Effusive yellow-gold luster dominates the centers, while the fields show peach and violet overtones. Though scattered marks are present on the obverse, including a few on Liberty's legs, the overall preservation and eye appeal are high for the MS64 grade. Aside from the usual softness on the Capitol building, the coin is well struck. PCGS has certified just four numerically finer pieces (6/10).
From The Bob Simpson Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26GE, PCGS# 9184)

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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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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